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10 Popular Milk Brands in Kenya Ranked From Worst to Best

27 July 2023|Grocery Guides (Kenya)

There are a variety of brands and it can be overwhelming to choose the best one for you, the best for anyone is relative but in this post, we will be as conservative as possible discussing your priorities whether; the best value, best tasting, or outright affordability. After this, you can know which ones to avoid and which ones to reach for.

Featured: Itambe Milk

Milk is a dairy staple in many households in Kenya and the world. In Kenya, milk is essential for preparing the famous milk tea also called chai.

Milk is a nutrient-rich food packing a lot of calcium, fats, proteins, and minerals. Milk is so basic that even lactose intolerants are now milking almonds. You know something is so basic when we re-create it.

Personally, I love milk religiously, not just milk but the entire dairy category, actually, I have a toxic relationship with cheese since I want more of it but it keeps getting unaffordable

Milk is so important for everyone, I just can’t afford to run out. 

Good thing Dad didn’t have to go get some. 

The funny story is, I never use milk to prepare tea or coffee (the entire reason why anyone gets milk)

Milk tastes different between brands(because they process it differently) and that is why this post exists.

Remember: this is a personal consumer review based on preferences and may change from one person to another. It may all taste like milk to others.


10. Daima

Daima Milk
Daima Milk

It is just okay generally. It has more artificial taste than real milk here with a weird aftertaste

I guess it is all on their processing procedure, can’t blame the cows. 

Daima milk does not only taste bad, it also has a weird smell.

Their flavored milk options in vanilla, strawberry, and chocolate are okayish except that the sugar levels are out of the roof, the flavored milk is sweetened aggressively with the diabetes amount, but their butter and yogurt are surprisingly excellent however.

Daima is currently owned by Devyani Foods, initially, it was  by Sameer Africa under the livestock and agriculture division


9. Mt Kenya

Mt Kenya Milk
Mt Kenya Milk

This brand is overrated in my opinion, their milk tastes just flat, ”cooked”, or like melted ice cream; this is on my list of do-not-buy brands. 

Their yogurts are bottom barrel too, actually, the worst yogurt I have ever tasted. I will only buy Mt Kenya milk when there is no other brand to choose from.


8. Lato

Lato Milk
Lato Milk

This is the equivalent of drinking water mixed with powdered chalk, tastes more like a milk replacement than actual milk, but hey; it gets the job done

However, it is the cheapest milk brand you can find so I have to slice them a slack, at least they offer better value over Daima and Mt Kenya brands


7. Kinangop

Kinangop Milk
Kinangop Milk

Now this is a mixed bag, could be a hit or a miss due to consistency issues. But for the most part, their milk and yogurts are good you won’t regret your purchase

Generally average and I would recommend this Kinangop brand, for the money.


6. Ilara

Ilara Milk, Fresh
Ilara Milk, Fresh

Ilara is okay, generally above average, they mostly offer their milk in fresh forms and not long life unlike the other brands discussed

The catch here is you have to keep your milk refrigerated or else it will go bad. Their yogurt is okay I just find them to have a weird taste, which might take a little getting used to.

Ilara is owned by Brookside Dairies


5. Tuzo

Tuzo Milk, Longlife
Tuzo Milk, Longlife

Tuzo is a good brand, tastes slightly better and richer than the discussed brands but is also significantly expensive, I don’t feel like it offers the best value as the quality increase is slight. 

Also, it has a heavily processed taste for some reason, yogurts, however, are so rich and creamy and taste very good, no complaints here.

Tuzo is owned by Brookside Dairies


4. KCC

KCC Gold Crown Milk
KCC Gold Crown Milk

Kenya Cooperative Creameries, (KCC) despite having its management issues, ( just like any other government parastatal), they are surprisingly good in terms of quality offering.

Their milk comes in various sub-brandings; Gold Crown, Farm Fresh, and Taifa. Gold Crown is the premium offering and it even has a lactose-free variant.

Other KCC Products

KCC, is, without doubt, the single brand trying to offer every dairy product to consumers, which is neat, here are some of the products

  •  Delite Yoghurt: Their yogurts are underwhelming however just thin and not punchy flavor-wise. Around 2016, they had La Yoghurt which was a premium brand made from real fruits, it was really good but was discontinued. (Like all the good things)
  •  Mala(Buttermilk): Mala is simply fermented milk, while Brookside offers its own version ‘lala’, KCC’s is the traditional version and it is more authentic. Mala is used to accompany ugali and vegetables by washing everything down. Fermented milk is crucial in helping boost digestion and nutrient uptake in the intestines, thanks to the lactic acid probiotics

Related: The 5 Popular Maziwa Mala (Lala) Brands in Kenya: Worst to Best

  •  Butter KCC butter is offered unsalted and it is okay, but overpriced compared to imported brands from Denmark and Northern Europe
  •  Cheese: KCC offers cheese but only in cheddar form. No complaints since cheddar is the most popular type of cheese in Kenya anyway.
  •  Ghee: KCC is the only brand that offers ghee(clarified butter), ghee is just butter that has been melted and water separated from it, so it doesn’t solidify even at low temperatures. Ghee makes the best and softest chapatis
  •  Milk Powder: KCC’s milk powder is sold under a different sub-brand name; Safariland. It is a quality product like everything else from KCC

KCC is state-owned by the government and is now rebranded to New KCC


3. Brookside

Brookside Milk, Dairybest
Brookside Milk, Dairybest

Brookside dairybest milk has a good taste and is generally a premium consistent product. It is just so expensive compared to other brands and by a considerable margin.

Brookside doesn’t just stop there, they have their milk in a fresh version which requires refrigeration, they have a low-fat option as well and even a lactose-free version. They simply cater to all consumers. 

The normal Brookside UHT packets are now down-scaled to 3.3% butterfat from the original 3.5% which is disappointing. This makes the current Brookside lighter and will make less thicker tea than before.

Brookside milk nutritional values per 100g: 

3.3g fat, 3.0g proteins,122mg potassium,106mg calcium, 96iU Vitamin A

Other Products by Brookside

Flavored Milk: Dairy-fresh is the sub-branding of Brookside’s flavored milk. It comes in 6 flavors; Chocolate, Bubblegum, Banana, Vanilla, Strawberry, and Coffee

Yoghurt: Brookside yoghurts are excellent in terms of quality, offered in; strawberry, vanilla, and natural (flavor and sugar-free)

Probiotic Yoghurt: This is a special yogurt with added cultures/ bacteria/ probiotics. It promotes better gut health and could be helpful for the frequently bloated and constipated. This in turn helps with weight management and those in for flat tummy goals.

Related: Review: The 3 Best Probiotic Yoghurts in Kenya

Lala (Buttermilk): My guess why it is called maziwa lala is because fermented milk is notorious for making you sleepy after consumption. 

You feel sleepy because it promotes digestion, and your body secretes serotonin a hormone that causes sleepiness

This is just fermented milk like discussed in KCC, Brookside’s lala is however not so authentic, it is smoothed out and that could be a good thing to some consumers. 

It also has a sweetened version with added sugar. 

Butter: Brookside butter is my go-to, it is just silky and low-moisture. The low moisture aspect will be appreciated in baking where whatever you are baking rises just better. 

Their butter is offered in 250g and 500g. Generally, butter is not very affordable in Kenya, don’t get me started on cheese prices again. This country is not a dairy heaven

You have the option to either buy salted or unsalted butter. My recommendation is to go for unsalted so that you can have better control and lower the risk of over-salting your dish….(because you forgot your butter was salted), don’t ask me how i found out.

Whipped Cream: Whipped cream is a topping for bakery and dessert products, the white stuff. Whipped cream is made from heavy cream and mixed with a hand mixer till fluffy

Cooking Cream: Unlike whipped cream, it is not fluffy, just more liquid in consistency, and is used to make stews and soups richer with the creamy goodness

Milk Powder: What can I say except, this is powdered milk just like any other. Tastes rich and doesn’t clump when stirring. This is one of the newest product releases by Brookside

The majority of Brookside dairies are owned by the Kenyatta family. Brookside also owns other brands like; Ilara, Molo, Tuzo, and Delamere


2. Fresha

Fresha Milk
Fresha Milk

Good consistent taste at a good price, Fresha is a cooperative product benefiting the farmers directly…tastes much richer and accurately like you are drinking straight from the cow’s udders…this is like an all-rounder milk for baking, eating cereal, making tea or just drinking.

Now this is a good example of; good milk not necessarily expensive

Fresha offers yogurts that are of the best value, comparing the price to the quality you get. 500ml is just under KSh 90 and that is a steal for the price

Zito is a sub-brand of Fresha that truly lives by its name, Zito translates as heavy, and yes their milk is heavy. 

Forget the 3.5% butterfat that is the industry standard, Zito has a whooping 3.7% butterfat making it the best milk for the creamiest, and richest milk tea. 

Plus the milk itself is priced so competitively making it the best no brainier option

Fresha and Zito are brands of Githunguri Dairy Farmers a cooperative society


1. Bio

This is hands-down some of the best-tasting milk you can find in a supermarket. Not even a contest. So expensive so I wouldn’t justify using it for baking or making milk tea

If you just love drinking milk like a sociopath(like me) or principal Shepherd from Family Guy, this is it! 

Or if you love chocolate milk and you want the best milk then Bio is it. It costs soooo much however so you don’t get the best value

Bio milk offers its milk in different compositions; Whole Milk, Semi Skimmed, and Skimmed.

Skimmed milk is milk with butterfat removed, imagine how milk without butterfat tastes like, let Ron Swanson fill us in, ladies and gents!

Ron Swanson on Skimmed Milk
Ron Swanson on Skimmed Milk

Skimmed or semi-skimmed milk appeals to those who are health-conscious about fat intake and calories,

Bio whole milk is 3.3% butterfat which is kind of underwhelming as the standard is 3.5% from most dairies, but it is not that noticeable in taste. The skimmed one is fat-stripped down to an impressive 0.5%

Bio also offers other products like; Bio Maziwa Lala, and even Premium Bio Yoghurts that cost an arm and a leg, but are totally worth it if you can afford those.

The Bio maziwa lala, it is not as thick as Brookside but tastes so much natural and clean, balanced with no aftertaste or flavors.

Did I mention that Bio also offers lactose-free milk? OK, now I have. 

Bio has the best dairy products across, nothing is underwhelming instead everything is just exceptional and tastes just right, whereby you can’t point out something they should improve on. 

I feel like they charge Bio-tax, (just like Apple and their logo) so if you are a value shopper this might not be your “best reasonable brand”.

Bio brand is owned by Bio Foods Ltd, it is halal certified if you care about that


Summary

Best for rich tea: Zito by Fresha has the highest butterfat 3.7% for rich thick tea

Best for drinking: Bio, pasteurized well and the milk retains its natural raw taste and is preservative-free

Lactose-free milk options in Kenya

  1. Bio Lactose-Free 2.3% Butterfat
  2. Brookside Lactose-Free
  3. KCC Gold Crown Lactose-Free

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This Post Has One Comment

  1. Charles

    Nice fun post !

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