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Grocery Guide: The 10 Popular Maize Flour Brands in Kenya: Worst to Best

This post is on the 10 popular and mainstream brands of maize meal in Kenya, to find the best brand for each consumer preference on the basis of quality and value offering ranked from worst to best.

The maize meal brands scene is just funny, everything is volatile, within just a year; we have a new brand that reigns supreme, and so on. 

The new brands are constantly playing the hardball and stealing a significant market share from old and big established brands, ( who forgot how to make good flour).

It is no surprise that at the bottom of this list are the old brands, and on top are the newest ones. Most maize flour brands are available from 1Kg, 2kg, and 5 kg. Others have bulkier options like 10 Kg and beyond.

There are two types of maize meal; standard and premium quality. The standard options are from number 4 to 10, while the top 3 spots are for premium options.

Here’s the current lineup of the popular 10 brands, from “meh” quality to “oh my, that’s good!” – ranked from worst to best. 

This ranking is as neutral as Switzerland – no affiliations, no biases, just the bare, honest truth and criticisms

10. Jogoo

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Jogoo Unga Maize Meal
Jogoo  Maize Meal

Jogoo, the pioneer of packaged maize meal. Makes sense, given it’s a brand of Unga Limited, the granddaddy of milling plants in Kenya, (Since 1908). And this is exactly why Kenyans turned ‘Jogoo’ into the universal term for referencing packed maize flour.

Jogoo’s quality is just outright sketchy,  personally tried it multiple times recently, and the ugali turns out light brown,  and doesn’t taste coherent, could actually taste some dust, – not exactly the pinnacle of good ugali it used to be a while back.

I must say, Jogoo is not the worst brand in existence, but for the same cash, you can bag yourself some far superior flour from other brands.

Jogoo Wimbi
Jogoo Wimbi

On the bright side, Jogoo is probably the only brand with the wimbi (sorghum) version of the ugali flour.

Jogoo Wimbi  is surprisingly good and I would recommend it as I personally use it when  in the mood for some brown ugali

It is not entirely sorghum but a blend of 3 flours; sorghum, millet, and maize so basically it is a composite flour.

Brown(Sorghum/Millet) ugali is the better choice if you are trying to manage weight, or watch your sugar levels, learn more on the benefits of brown ugali here.

9. Hostess

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Hostess is the “premium” version of Jogoo by Unga Limited, yeah right, it is in quotes; because it actually isn’t.

Hostess quality is average, but the price you pay for the flour? It is not average anymore, it is a blatant scam.

It is classified as a premium brand, and in the past, it was actually true, and the best maize meal you could buy at the time; (Back in 2015/16). 

But nowadays, it’s just not even mid. Yes, the quality without doubt tanked, but instead of making a comeback, they just got comfortable at the bottom of the barrel, charging the same premium price. I hope they return to grace soon. 

8. Pembe

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Pembe used to be a mainstream old brand, but it has lost its status, as newer brands have taken the top positions. 

Nevertheless, it remains a viable choice with moderate pricing and consistently good quality offering a good value

Pembe is a brand by Pembe  Flour Mills that has been in existence since 1989.

7. Ajab

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Ajab maize is a new brand launched in 2019 just two years after the launch of the famous Ajab Wheat flour.

Quality is above average, considering the product price. Ajab maize hasn’t gained much popularity compared to its wheat flour version.

Ajab is a brand by Grain Industries in Mombasa since 2017.

6. Soko

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Soko Maize Meal 2Kg
Soko Maize Mal 2Kg

Soko is one of the old and reputable maize brands, its quality is just above average for the cost

It however has been a victim of a ban on aflatoxin a while ago and recalls thus affecting the brands’ consumer confidence.

Soko Nutrigo Wholegrain
Soko Nutrigo Wholegrain

Soko also stands out by offering a whole grain version of their flour under the sub-brand Nutrigo, it is really good and highly commendable if you craving that upcountry whole grain ugali.

It costs slightly more than the normal sifted flour but in my opinion, it is totally worth it. You can read more about whole grain( unga wa kisiagi) ugali and its benefits here

Soko is a product of Capwell Industries in Thika since 1999.

5. Dola

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Dola is the best standard maize meal considering cost, availability, consistency, and quality is excellent for its class

Its consistency actually holds better than most of the brands featured in this list, it is also the most popular maize brand currently thanks to the combination of all those positive attributes.

Dola is a brand by Kitui  Flour Kitui Flour Mills, which is not even from Kitui. It is from Mombasa actually.

4. Taifa

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Taifa maize meal is the top choice for making delicious standard ugali. It provides exquisite quality that’s slightly better but comparable to Dola. 

If you’re looking for high-quality ugali flour on a budget, this is the ultimate pick that almost feels like a premium option.

However, it’s a bit pricier and less widely available compared to Dola, which is the next best option. Taifa is a brand by Mombasa  Maize Millers.

3. Dola Gold

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Kitui  Flour Kitui Flour Mills has a premium product with the same name as their famous Dola. It’s a good choice, though it’s not well-known for some mysterious reason. 

Despite that, it’s affordable and provides a top-notch Ugali experience for less.

2. Amaize

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Amaize 2Kg

Amaize is a premium offering from Capwell Industries, it is like the premium version of Soko basically. Quality is good for the premium category.

Premium maize meals are characterized by extra fine texture and extra white color making more appealing ugali, and Amaize is exactly that.

Amaize has been having inconsistencies, but the shift is not that bad to complain. In fact, all maize millers have consistency issues as maize is sourced from different regions depending on seasons

Amaize is commendable as the second best option in shopping for premium maize meal just behind Raha Premium, the ultimate maize meal.

It was launched in 2018 as the second oldest premium maize meal brand option in the market after Hostess which used to be the only premium option. 

1. Raha Premium

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Raha Premium

Raha Premium also recognized as Kavagara, stands as Kenya’s finest and ultimate premium maize meal. It is the newest option to the market and currently, the brand gaining the best adoption traction.

Its quality is renowned for its excellence, boasting an ultra level of fineness and a strikingly white appearance. 

While it comes at a higher price point compared to other alternatives, the substantial gap in quality makes it worth it. 

Without a doubt, Raha Premium is the best maize meal brand in Kenya.

It is a brand by Joy Millers from Kerugoya, Central Kenya.

Honorable Mention: Ugali Afya

Ugali Afya
Ugali Afya

Ugali Afya is a special blend of sifted maize meal and is probably the healthiest maize meal, find out if that is actually true here

It is the go-to choice if you are managing blood sugar, blood pressure, or weight. Read more about it in a separate dedicated post that is linked above.

Related Links

Grocery Guide: The 10 Best Wheat Flour Brands in Kenya (2023).

Review: The 7 Best Green Groceries in Nairobi

Grocery Guide: 10 Popular Rice Brands in Kenya 

Spice Essentials For Your Kenyan Kitchen: A Comprehensive Guide

Grocery Guide: The Best Cooking Oils in Kenya

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