The use of herbal remedies has always been popular in Kenya with over 70% of Kenyans relying on traditional healers as their primary source of health care, especially in rural areas. Traditional healers respond to diverse needs such as working as herbalists, and birth attendants and are within reach of most Kenyans, filling gaps in the health care system.
While Kenyans are receptive to natural homoeopathic remedies supporting demand for herbal/traditional products, there remains an increasing number of local markets that offer both raw and semi-processed preparations which are not strictly regulated. Therefore, there are challenges to maintain safety and quality of certain products due to weak guidelines, regulations and standards for the products, practitioners and retailers.
An increasing number of Kenyans, particularly lower-income consumers, will continue to rely on more traditional homoeopathic remedies as they are often unable to afford the high cost of modern medicines, even packaged herbal/traditional products. Therefore, this poses competition to the development of this category over the forecast period, with alternative practitioners offering complementary medicines to a wide range of consumers.
Herbal/traditional products is a fairly fragmented competitive landscape with the highest value share held by smaller players under “others”, while Raa Ltd strengthened its overall leadership with its brand Menthoplus, which it nationally distributes for Emami Ltd. International players compete with domestic companies, leading some multinationals to evolve their product offering and market them as natural with a herbal positioning, resulting in a perception amongst local consumers that they are of higher quality and offer a good price positioning.
The category is increasingly attracting Chinese manufacturers, particularly within herbal/traditional dietary supplements, where standard products still hold the dominant value share overall, but may offer greater opportunities for growth moving forward. Some Chinese players have even stated their intentions to set up manufacturing plants to service the region, with Xiehe Group already present.
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This industry report originates from Passport, our Consumer Health market research database.