Naivas vs Carrefour vs Quickmart: Which Supermarket is the Best?

9 November 2023|Grocery Guides (Kenya)

This post is a head-to-head comparison between the popular 3 supermarket chains in Kenya, to find the best one for your shopping priorities. Carrefour is a French retail chain while Quickmart and Naivas are local establishments.

Naivas, Quickmart, Carrefour

The retail sector in Kenya is just cursed, the big supermarket brands from like a decade ago don’t exist anymore, they all generally follow the same slow death; Uchumi, Nakumatt, Ukwala, Tusky’s Choppies, Game, Mulley’s…All those big names don’t exist anymore.

Currently, (Carrefour, Naivas, and Quickmart) are the main supermarket brands considering the spread. They are like the big 3.

Other honorable chains include; Chandarana Foodplus, Cleanshelf, Eastmatt, and Khetias.

Basic Kenyan Grocery Items
Basic Kenyan Grocery Items

Without a doubt, 5 years from now we won’t be having some of the mentioned chains still in existence, they will be gone, reduced to atoms. The simplest way to explain it is; the retail business is delicate.

This is because the profit margins are as thin as it gets, some below 10%. So supermarkets rely on volumes to stay afloat.

If mismanaged to the slightest, or facing stiff competition, or unsustainable rapid expansion, the whole institution comes down crumbling, to shreds you say? As the operating costs will quickly exceed the revenue.

This is an unbiased post based on general observations, with no affiliation with any chains. Remember the best supermarket for you is the one you love, so shop wherever you please.

Pricing, Discounts & Offers

While retail pricing should be standard (and is for the most part), sometimes it is different.

Manufacturers suggest a recommended retail price(RRP) for their items. However, it is up to the individual supermarket to follow it since it is just a guideline, they can sell high or sell lower.

On this basis there is no doubt that Carrefour is the best option for low prices and insane discounts, having the app ensures you land even more discounts.

Read More: Why Carrefour is the Cheapest Supermarket in Kenya.

Naivas and Quickmart while having sales and discounts as well, are insignificant on a side-to-side comparison with Carrefour.

Quickmart is generally known for being slightly expensive for the same items. If you are all about budget shopping, Carrefour is your best bet, (As they have freebies sometimes). If there is no Carrefour in your neighborhood then Naivas aint that bad either.

Winner: Carrefour

Product Variety

Most Carrefour outlets are located in malls and large shopping complexes, so it means they have a bigger real estate meaning more product categories and variety of each

Carrefour is probably the only place where you will find that specific exotic item you have been seeing on the internet and wanna try. Carrefour is an international retail store chain so they heavily rely on imports and have those unique brands that local supermarkets don’t sell

Naivas is the second best option here; the Naivas outlets with the Food Market logo are generally giant and comparable to Carrefour. However, outlets in busy areas like town centers are limited and normally smaller with fewer products

Quickmart comes last in this category as their stores are more convenience outlets with limited spaces and thus variety

Winner: Carrefour

Local Produce

If you are all about local produce and supporting the already dead local economy, then Naivas is probably your best choice. 

Their greengrocery and butchery sections are almost exclusively local agricultural products which is neat. This is good as they offer a market for our local farmers’ produce and hopefully compensate them fairly.

Quickmart has most local produce too, but on a lower scale compared to Naivas. 

However, the same cannot be said about Carrefour. A big chunk of their products are imported as stated earlier. Even the greengrocery section is mostly fruits and veggies from South Africa. Good thing they label the origin of their products and the only Kenyan produce is avocadoes and potatoes( probably when they are in season)

Winner: Naivas

Store Experience

Quickmart is not very well-lit. It mostly has dull aisles this is because of the rustic aesthetics and high ceilings so light doesn’t diffuse properly especially at night to most stores I have been in, even the biggest ones.

Quickmart would be your best bet if you are all about warm woody tones with greenery and rustic vibes.

Naivas is pretty standard and actually well and so is Carrefour

The other aspect of the store experience would be the layout. Carrefour takes the win here for having the most spacious aisles, obviously because their outlets are big. Naivas and Quickmart are more on the cramped side with Quickmart outlets being the worst organized

Cramping is not the worst thing about Quickmart, organization is also not the best. Related products are not even arranged together or on the basis of category, but this is probably a space limit constraint as their outlets are small. 

Naivas and Carrefour are both well organized for the most part, but Carrefour rises to the occasion since the spaciousness adds to the overall pleasant shopping experience. 

Winner: Carrefour

Store Location & Accessibility

Carrefour is mostly in malls, Naivas and Quickmart are in town centers and big neighborhoods. 

However, quickmart goes beyond Naivas and has many small locations in neighborhoods and small town centers

Winner: Quickmart

Online Shopping and Rewards

Carrefour and Naivas have online shopping eCommerce systems, but for Quickmart you need to make a phone call which is not very convenient.

Between Carrefour and Naivas, Carrefour retakes the lead with the best-designed online shopping systems. Delivery is free for goods above the KSh 1,500 threshold, unlike Naivas.

While all supermarkets have a loyalty point system, Carrefour’s is the best and most effortless, with no physical cards. Just a mobile app meaning you won’t lose points if you forget your card at home.

Winner: Carrefour


At the end of the day, the better one is your shopping priority,

But generally, the post title had already given the spoiler

  •  Best: Carrefour
  •  Second Best: Naivas
  •  Third Best: Quickmart

Quickmart is your option if you just value accessibility and love their signature hotdogs,

Naivas is just a balance of everything, and if you want to buy local produce and brands,

Carrefour is the best all-rounder option for important factors like; prices, variety, online shopping, and store experience.

So yeah, Carrefour is the undisputed best supermarket in Kenya. It is not all perfect, Carrefour has faced several controversies by allegedly abusing its buying power and forcing suppliers to sell to them at lower prices (which is not very ethical if that was true). But for the consumer, it has had no issues so far

Related Links

Quickmart Hotdogs: Is the Hype Warranted? 

The 98 Basic Kenyan Shopping List Items

Review: The 7 Best Green Groceries in Nairobi

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