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Grocery Guide: The 10 Best Cooking Oils in Kenya

Vegetable oil is the mainstream cooking oil type in Kenya, and obviously it exists in a myriad of brands. This post features the popular 10 brands discussed for what they are unique in to find the best.

All the vegetable oils here are made from palm oil, (and not vegetables), but vary in how they’re refined and fortified. That’s why we have different brands for different uses.

Vegetable oil is the most popular cooking oil type in Kenya because it’s versatile, affordable, and can handle high heat. It’s great for deep frying when the cost is a concern.

For everyday cooking, you’ll enjoy the flavors of premium oils like sunflower, olive, corn, and avocado. They add a special touch and delicate flavors to your dishes, but for deep frying, the basic vegetable oil is just fine.

The healthiest cooking oil types in Kenya are; olive oil and avocado oil. They are not that commonly used as they cost up to 5x the price of vegetable oil.

Avocado and olive oils stand out as they are not seed oils unlike most other oils extracted from seeds, which contain higher amounts of inflammatory fats.

Elianto is a common brand that is made from corn and not palm oil like normal vegetable oils. Elianto has a higher smoking point and a distinct corn flavor. 

Elianto is not healthier than normal vegetable oils, it is probably a marketing campaign. All seed oils are relatively equal and there is no significant health benefit in buying the expensive type.

Seed oils include; vegetable oil, canola oil, sunflower oil, and corn oil (which Elianto is). So if health is your concern, buy any brand of olive or avocado oil

Let’s get into the brands, as usual, no ties, or affiliations

with any of the featured brands, so be sure the opinions are unfiltered and honest.

10. Pika

Pika vegetable oil

It’s acceptable, solidifies in mildly cold temperatures, and while it’s not the most budget-friendly choice, it still provides decent quality.  Pika is a cost-effective offering from Golden Africa Limited, fortified with vitamin A & D

9. Dola

Dola vegetable oil

As the newest addition to this list, Dola is designed to meet the needs of budget-conscious shoppers in the midst of rising vegetable oil prices. It is one of the best budget options on the list.

8. Top Fry

Top Fry vegetable oil

Top Fry is more affordable compared to other premium oils, although it doesn’t excel in any particular aspect, it provides satisfactory quality. 

Produced by Menengai Oil Refineries, it represents a reasonable value for the price.

7. Masterchef

Masterchef vegetable oil

Masterchef stands out as the ideal choice for budget-conscious shoppers. While its quality is only average, it’s important to note that Masterchef is one of the newer brands in the market and it is the most affordable.

For those watching their expenses, Masterchef is a suitable option as it provides the essential fortifications required by the Ministry of Health, ensuring that you’re still getting a product that meets basic quality standards.

6. Salit

Salit vegetable oil

Salit vegetable oil falls into the category of average quality, making it an affordable choice for consumers.

Salit is marketed as a triple-refined vegetable oil, promising excellent results for achieving fresh and crispy food.

According to their website, Salit’s container is distinctively designed with a lady-like shape. This unique packaging sets it apart and is noticeable

Overall, Salit is a budget-friendly option from Pwani  Oils, offering an affordable choice and average quality.

5. Avena 

Avena vegetable oil

Avena offers excellent premium quality with frequent special offers and ongoing promotions. 

While it may not be a mainstream choice, its quality shines through, especially during promotional periods, where you can secure one of the best deals on a premium vegetable oil.

4. Golden Fry

Golden Fry vegetable oil

Golden Fry, once considered the pinnacle of quality, has experienced a slight decline in terms of smoothness and texture recently. However, it still remains a viable and decent choice.

One thing that continues to set Golden Fry apart is its distinctive golden-brown container, making it easily recognizable on store shelves. While its quality may not be as impeccable as it once was, it still offers a good enough option for various culinary needs. Golden Fry is a product of Bidco Africa.

3. Fresh Fri

Fresh Fri vegetable oil

Fresh Fri stands out as the best choice when it comes to a blend of quality and affordability. It is the best-value oil

Its quality and consistency are commendable, making it one of the promising brands.

Fresh Fri offers special premium editions infused with flavors like ginger and garlic if you are into that.

However, the infusion makes the oil smoke at a lower temperature than normal which is kind of a compromise and it can’t handle deep frying well.

On the plus side, the flavors it adds to the food are notable and subtle.

Moreover, Fresh Fri undergoes a triple-refining process, ensuring a top-notch product.

In addition to its quality Fresh Fri is fortified with vitamin E, offering added nutritional benefits for those seeking a healthier option. Fresh Fri is processed by Pwani  Oils Products

2. Kimbo Premium

Kimbo Premium Vegetable Oil

 Kimbo Premium vegetable oil distinguishes itself by offering a wide range of sizes, including 0.3 liters, 0.5 liters, 0.7 liters, 1 liters, 2 liters, 3 liters, and 5 liters, giving consumers various options to choose from.

While Kimbo Premium is considered slightly overpriced relative to its quality, it still manages to deliver a satisfactory product.

One unique feature of Kimbo Premium is its clear container, setting it apart from other brands typically packaged in yellow containers.

Kimbo Premium is an extension of the original Kimbo brand, which is well-known for its white-fat products.Kimbo Premium is processed by Bidco Africa.

1. Rina

Rina Vegetable Oil

Rina stands out as unquestionably the best and finest vegetable cooking oil in Kenya. This is a personal choice of use.

Its exceptional qualities become evident, especially in cold conditions where it still remains liquid and doesn’t freeze to the container.

This triple-refined pure vegetable palm oil has a minimal tendency to produce smoke when high heat is required.

Just like all vegetable oils it is fortified with vitamin A.

Rina is a premium product but doesn’t cost much more than other brands, just slightly and sometimes the upcharge is negligible. Rina is processed by Kapa  Oils Refineries

Cooking Oil Companies(Refineries) in Kenya

The following are the major vegetable oil refinery companies in Kenya and their brands. The first brands are the premium ones while the second brand for each are the budget options

  1. Kapa Oil Refineries: Rina, Postman
  2. Bidco Africa Limited: Golden Fry, Kimbo Oil, Ufuta, Bahari Fry, Cowboy Fat, Kimbo Fat
  3. Pwani  Oils Products Ltd: Fresh Fri, Salit
  4. Golden Africa(Kenya) Ltd: Avena, Pika
  5. Menengai Oils Refineries Ltd: Top Fry, Somo
  6. Vipingo Industries Ltd: Masterchef, Dola

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