Milk machines that are generous to the pocket
The popularity of milk dispensers started by Naivas and Tuskys supermarkets a few years ago has compelled them to embark on a major rollout plan in their branches countrywide.
Spread out in select branches in the city and its environs, the dispensers are increasingly becoming popular because the milk is cheaper than the packaged brands.
Tuskys began with a pilot project in Buruburu and T-mall branches three years ago.
“Besides opening the first and only milk dispenser in the city centre late last year, numerous dispensing machines have been installed at the estate branches,” said a Tuskys staff who did not want to be named.
Naivas ventured into the business in 2010, and currently has dispensers spread out in most of suburban branches, giving Tuskys a run for its money.
“We have dispensers in 13 outlets spread across the country, but we hope to install more because of increased demand for the milk mainly because it is whole and fresh,” said Willy Kimani, Naivas Supermarket marketing manager.
Depending on the branches of the two chains, the milk retails at Sh65 or Sh70 per litre.
Naivas Supermarket gets its milk from Githunguri Dairy who deliver the pasteurised milk to their various outlets, while Tuskys sources from Murang’a County.
Naivas sells between 1,200 to 1,900 litres of milk on average per branch daily.
Although it retails at Sh20 cheaper per litre compared to the normal prices of the packaged milk, there is a considerable group sceptical about it.
“My biggest concern is the dispensers. I am not sure if they (retail shops) maintain hygiene. I cannot tell how often they wash them or if they get rid of the overstayed milk,” says Martha Mwende.
“Instead of taking the risk I will stick to the packet milk, since I can tell the expiry date,” she added.
However, the dispensers installed are programmed to self-clean regularly during the day.
Due to the large amount stocked for dispensing, these retail shops have adopted cooling machines to keep the milk fresh.
According to the Kenya Dairy Board (KDB), the milk dispensed should be pasteurised, tested and approved for human consumption by the Kenya Bureau of Standards.
Besides, a company or an individual wishing to dispense milk should provide KDB with the sanitary measures they will adopt and practice to ensure hygiene is maintained.
If the requirements are met and approved, then a retail store or an individual qualifies for a licence to dispense milk with no additives.