Reeling from a brutal pandemic that nearly decimated the hospitality industry, stakeholders drawn from the East African region came together at the Sarit Expo Centre for a premier exhibition for the food, beverage and hospitality sector in Kenya. The expo, running from 23rd to 25th March, 2022, brought together more than eighty-five exhibitors and over two thousand five hundred visitors.
Merican Limited was among the exhibitors that headlined the event, coming out to play with all the might and grit, from locally manufactured equipment, quality internationally sourced appliances, punctuated with an amiable team who were on standby to show the world what Merican is made of.
On display at the Merican stand, and a favorite of many visitors, was the custom-made kitchen range, an essential commercial kitchen equipment that is fully made in Kenya. Other equipment included cooling equipment, coffee bars, ovens, wine chillers, sinks, worktables, dishwasher machines, pastry displays, among others.
“We’ve been able to interact with so many potential clients, brand partners, consultants, key industry partners and stakeholders, particularly chefs, who in many instances are our end-users. This has generally been a wonderful experience. It also helps that we have unique products which are eco-friendly and energy efficient,” remarked Ms. Immaculate Onyoni, Merican’s Sales and Marketing Manager.
Apart from paying key attention to hygiene, security and equipment safety, Ms. Onyoni further asserts that Merican’s key value position and selling point at the expo was that it is a local company that offers tailor-made solutions based on client needs.
“Merican is a Kenyan company, founded by a Kenyan and run by Kenyans. When we meet a client, we offer them a full solution. We custom-fabricate our equipment. It starts from the design stage of your space, then we custom-make equipment for that space. We install, teach your personnel on how to use our equipment, and offer after-sale service,” she affirms.
In his keynote address as the three-day expo drew to a close, Merican Limited’s Managing Director, Mr. Fred Akuno, commended the hospitality industry for being resilient in the aftermath of COVID-19, and urged for a change of tact and more ingenuity going into the future.
“Drawing from the Merican experience, we’ve seen customer demands change significantly, with more emphasis being placed on hygiene, safety, security, and energy efficiency. We are in the process of developing an Energy Efficiency and Conservation Policy to be entrenched in our manufacturing process as a result,” he said.
Mr. Akuno also weighed in on the emergence of virtual restaurants, a surge in food delivery apps, and the formation of central, commissary-style ghost kitchens. Such developments, he said, radically alter the way the industry operates, making creativity and innovation culture a must have for every brand that hopes to be future-proof.
“Our missions, visions, strategic objectives, and actions as an industry must all be reviewed. Everyone, at all levels of an organization, must learn to do more with less. This is because COVID-19 has accelerated global shifts in consumer behaviors, value systems, and expectations. We do not have the luxury of staying stagnant,” he concluded.
Merican Limited specializes in commercial kitchen and beverage equipment ranging from cooking equipment, extraction systems, ovens, preparation units, worktables, sinks, server and display, storage units, coffee bars, bar solutions, cooling equipment, trolleys, among others. Based in Kenya’s industrial area in Nairobi, the company has a well-equipped production unit where fabrications takes place, and a showroom that displays finished products.