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Grocery Guide: 10 Best Rice Brands in Kenya-Ranked List

In this post, we are going to explore popular rice types and brands in Kenya to help you narrow if not resolve your internal debating on the supermarket aisle on your next grocery haul, for you will already know the rice type and brand that is best for you!

You are what you eat, I’m a cheap person generally, but whenever grocery shopping, rice is one of the things I don’t cheap on and so should you. 

However, a rice brand costing a fortune doesn’t mean it’s top-notch; most of the time, it’s not. Clearly, the cheapest options are nothing to write home about either. 

The real gems lie somewhere in the middle, striking that perfect balance between quality and price; which is value.

A rice type means the grain(variety) of rice; basmati, pishori, long grain, or jasmine

A rice brand is an identifying name; by the company that processes and repacks the rice grain

Note that each brand packs different rice grains in a different colored bag for easy distinction and identification, however, color choices are not standard across all brands; Meaning basmati in brand X can be blue, while in brand Y it is red.

A rice cooker was used to test individual rice branches and grains as it ensures controlled cooking so as to give repeated consistent results.

10. Ranee

Ranee Basmati, Long Grain

Grain Type(s): Basmati, Long Grain, Thai Biryani, 

Ranee is a brand by Capwell Industries in Thika. This is the same company that packs Pearl rice and CIL pishori, they are also the millers of Soko and Amaize maize meals.

Also Read: Grocery Guide: The 10 Popular Maize Flour Brands in Kenya

Ranee has different types of rice( or grains); Basmati, Long Grain, and Biryani primarily. But it doesn’t stop there, it further has different subcategories for each. In total, it makes over 9 variants.

Ranee rice is grown in another India, it is then processed and packed ready for consumption here. Ranee’s quality is just average, nothing exciting nothing mind-blowing.

Ranee brand doesn’t only stop at rice, they also have spaghetti in different grades, and their spaghetti is also fairly good.

Check Ranee’s Latest prices


This is a brand by King’s Commodities that is a blend of both pishori and basmati; offering the goodness of both.

 Pishori rice is a short-grain variety known for its aromatic and flavorful qualities, while Basmati rice is a long-grain variety celebrated for its unique fragrance and delicate taste.

Being a blend, it costs relatively less than individual 100% Pishori or Basmati

Check MRPK Pricing

8. 224

224 Rice

Grain Type(s): Long Grain, Pishori, Aromatic, Pilau

This is a brand by Malbros or Mjengo Limited which also owns the famous  Daawat and Nuvita biscuits brands

224 rice is good enough, just about what you expect from an average rice brand, the good part is; that it is relatively affordable and it is entirely catered for budget consumers since  Daawat caters to premium customers

Check Latest 224 Pricing

7. S&S

Grain Type(s): Pishori, Basmati

S&S is a brand by Kings Commodities that also owns KCL, Real, and MRPK brands

Quality is above average generally, basmati is good enough fluff up well and doubles, pishori is pure with no impurities or broken grains and packs that signature pishori aroma

Check S&S Pricing

6. CIL

CIL Rice

Grain Type(s): Pishori

It is a reputable brand if you want authentic Kenyan pishori, as mentioned earlier this is a brand by Capwell Industries, CIL is offered in 3 variants which are all pishori or include pishori

Aromatic pishori on the left is a grade 1 pishori. It is consistently good and I will recommend it, it wouldn’t disappoint

CIL Blended  Rice in the Middle is a value-oriented offering by blending both long grain and pishori grains. Sounds like a good idea to get the aromatic goodness of pishori for less. The biggest concern is whether both grains will cook evenly

The Brown is as good as the white pure pishori in terms of quality so, no brainier here

Check the Latest CIL Pishori Pricing

5. Daawat 

Daawat Rice Grain Varieties

Grain Type(s): Basmati, Long Grain, Brown, Parboiled, Aromatic

 Daawat is a brand by Mjengo Limited and probably has the widest grain varieties Daawat rice originates from India.

The most notable and common is its traditional basmati in the top blue packet. It is good and loved by many, but not a personal favorite ( I feel like it tastes artificial) if that makes sense

The black aromatic one is just aromatic like in the name, not as intense aromatic as a Kenyan pishori grain, just subtle

Next is the purple bag parboiled. Parboiled rice has been partially cooked before getting packaged, thus for your end of cooking, it cooks faster than from scratch raw rice. I wonder how lazy or impatient I would be to buy this

Biryani is targeted at cooking biryani rice dishes, from personal experience I found that basmati makes better biryani than the rice advertised to biryani itself

Long grain rice from  Daawat is probably the cheapest in the lineup, generally long grain rice is not as good as basmati or pishori but it gets the job done. 

You get what you pay for and the outcome is on the sticky cooked rice, no separate cooked grains.

 Daawat has brown rice too in a package that is obviously brown in color, this is the best brand if you are shopping for brown rice

Check Daawat’s Latest Pricing

4. Kenya Select

kenya select pishori rice

Grain Type(s): Pishori

This is just a brand that has one variety, Kenyan Pishori. Specialization means perfection and so is this brand. Kenya Select is the best brand if you are shopping for pishori.

To add on, this is a cooperative product from Mwea  Rice Growers meaning it benefits the farmers who grow the rice directly with no corporate greed.

While it is not mainstream or that common, if you spot it don’t skip it, infact look for it for the best pishori experience; from the intense aroma to texture and taste, just perfect. 

Kenya Select only comes in 2Kg and 5Kg packets, no 1Kg.

3. Pearl

Pearl pishori, basmati

Grain Type(s): Pishori, Basmati 

Pearl is a brand by Capwell Industries as stated, it is the sister brand to Ranee and offers almost the same rice varieties, you might be wondering why, but isn’t that redundant? 

Well, Pearl is a more premium brand meaning its rice is better than Ranee and thus slightly expensive

Pearl is famously known for its blue-packed Pishori, it appeals to the majority meaning it is good generally. In my book it is not the best pishori, I would make it a runner’s up after the mentioned Kenya Select

Their basmati is fairly okay too, not excellent but just good. 

And it doesn’t just stop at rice. Pearl has a variety of pulses and dried legumes these include; popcorn kernels, beans, lentils, green grams, you name it!

Also Read: Coconut Green Grams Recipe: (Ndengu / Pojo)

Check Pearl’s Latest Pricing

2. Sunrice

Sunrice basmati, biryani, long grain

Grain Type(s): Pishori, Basmati, Biryani, Long Grain, 

The orange-packaged Sunrice basmati is the best rice in Kenya hands down

It just stands out in every dimension, fluffiest longest grain basmati, flavorful and rich. This is almost the perfect rice and is the best reasonable rice I can recommend to anyone since this is a personal favorite brand and variety.

Sunrice Basmati
Sunrice Basmati
Cooked Sunrice Basmati in a  Rice Cooker

Sunrice has another basmati variety in a white packing, ‘Everyday Basmati’. Despite being a little expensive, it is not better than the mentioned orange packet basmati.

I have tried biryani too and it is the best of all the biryani branded rice, which makes it probably good in other grain offerings too

1. Royal Umbrella

Royal Umbrella Jasmine Rice

Grain Type(s): Jasmine

 Royal Umbrella is Thai Jasmine rice. Jasmine rice is not that common in Kenya, infact this is the only brand that I’m, aware of. 

 Royal Umbrella is not a local brand, and the rice is imported readily from North Eastern Thailand by Aryuv Agencies in Mombasa

This is more of a specialty rice. I know we said Sunrice Basmati is the best, but what if you want the best of the best regardless of the cost? It’s this brand. 

It is however not affordable to the majority and costs more than twice that of all premium brands. Their 2Kg rice goes for over KSh 900

Yes,  Royal Umbrella is the best but it is not reasonable in terms of pricing, which is why I strongly recommend Sunrice Basmati for better value for your money.

The only reason anyone should buy this is when you strictly want Jasmine rice, and in that case; It is available at Naivas and Carrefour

Check Royal Umbrella’s Latest Pricing 


 Rice Grains Use cases

Long Grain: Best for fried rice, stir-fries and in general Chinese cooking

Basmati: Best for pilau, biryani, or just plain white rice. Or any Middle Eastern and Indian cuisines

Pishori: For multipurpose general use or where the intense aroma is appreciated 

Jasmine: Best for accompanying curries and stews, or in South Asia cuisines

Generally, in terms of brands

Best Basmati: Sunrice 

Best Pishori: Kenya Select

Best Brown  Rice Daawat 

Best Biryani: Sunrice

Best Long Grain: Sunrice

Featured Rice Packers with their brands

Mwea Rice Growers Cooperative: Kenya Select, MRG, SPR, Komboka

Mjengo Limited:  Daawat, 224

Capwell Industries: Ranee, Pearl

Kings Commodities: S&S, Real, KCL, MRPK


What is the best rice variety in Kenya? Each grain has different purposes but, basmati is the best for Kenyan cuisine as it turns out fluffy and doesn’t stick to any rice dishes. However, basmati is relatively expensive.

Pishori is the second option, it wins over the basmati if you prefer a more aromatic type of rice. Pishori is grown locally in the Mwea regions of central Kenya.

The real difference between basmati and pishori is the grain size, basmati is relatively longer and slender, while pishori is short-grained and mostly broken. 

Pishori is aromatic while basmati is not

What is the best rice in Kenya? Sunrice basmati is generally the best, not only in the basmati variety; but simply the best grains across, it cooks up fluffy with a good texture with sweet notes. 

This makes the Sunrice basmati, the best rice brand for making pilau

What is the difference between white and brown rice? Both white and brown rice are from the same grain, white rice is more processed as the bran(that gives brown rice the color) is removed in milling. 

For brown rice bran is not removed

Which  Daawat rice is best? Basmati, the one in a blue packet

Related Links

 Rice Cookers:

Buying Guide: Rice Cookers in Kenya

Sayona SRC 4302 1.5L Rice Cooker Review

Instant Noodles:

Review: The 10 Best Instant Noodles in Kenya

Preparing Indomie Mi Goreng Noodles

Spaghetti & Pasta

Review: The 5 Best Spaghetti Brands in Kenya

Authentic Spaghetti Carbonara in Kenya

Groceries & Staples: 

Review: The 7 Best Green Groceries in Nairobi

Grocery Guide: The 10 Best Wheat Flour Brands in Kenya

Grocery Guide: Popular Cooking Oils in Kenya 

Spice Essentials For Your Kenyan Kitchen: A Comprehensive Guide

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