How to Start a Popcorn Business in Kenya 

 July 8, 2016

By  BTK Staff

Snacks have always been an all-time favorite food for most people cutting across all generations. Popcorns are fun to eat and its preparation is quite easy. Moreover, it can be taken at any setting such as while watching a movie, relaxing at home, while travelling among others. Likewise starting and running a popcorn business demands minimal financial investment. Therefore, this article will explore various essential steps in this business venture.


High traffic location, vendor’s license, popcorn machine, popcorn seeds, few utensils for serving, and packaging materials. Popcorn seeds normally goes at Ksh. 3500 for a sack weighing 25 kilogram.


In order to maximize on profits while keeping your popcorn business on the right track, it is always advisable to choose a highly traffic site. This is because popcorn is a snack bought on sight. Therefore, when choosing the site for this business, ensure it is highly visible, convenient, and in a high traffic location. Further, most popcorn entrepreneurs may prefer to run the popcorn business alongside other businesses. In such a case, ensure to run the popcorn business right at the entrance of your business premises. For these reasons, most popcorn vendors are situated at supermarket’s, malls or even restaurant’s entrances.


Although this business venture do not require a lot of equipment to start with, I will just analyze a few a must start equipment. The first main equipment is the popcorn maker. It comes with different sizes and quality. Nonetheless, for a commercial venture, I would recommend purchasing a larger kettle that would mean producing a large volume of popcorns each time you pop the popcorn seeds hence less time spent on popping. Other factors to consider while choosing your popcorn machine is the warranty, electrical requirements, and features. The budget for the popcorn maker ranges between Ksh. 20,000 to Ksh. 30,000.

Other equipment include a table and a stool. A table is essential for placing the popcorn maker while the stool is necessary in case you want to take a seat. These are locally available at furniture shops at affordable prices of less than Ksh. 3,000 – Ksh. 5,000 depending on quality.

Utensils for scooping and serving popcorn seeds and popcorns come in handy too. The utensils are available in the supermarkets or shops. Buy a few essential utensils. Also, packaging containers can be obtained easily from the supermarkets at an affordable price.


When running any business, it is important to have the necessary permits. Similarly for a popcorn enterprise, it is vital to obtain food handling permit also referred to as health certificate and business permit. The later goes for around Ksh. 3000 for a year while the business permit goes for approximately Ksh. 4000.

Nonetheless, for those integrating popcorn business with other businesses, such licenses may be overlooked. However, it is always important to obtain permits to avoid putting your business at risk of close down by relevant authorities.


Efficient marketing procedures is key to the success of any business venture. Likewise, for popcorn business, marketing your product goes a long way in upgrading your business.

One way is through branding your products in for instance shopping malls. Who knows? They may end up having you as their supplier of popcorns. When doing so, ensure to be persuasive and have unique products in order to remain competitive.

Further, you can approach the street hawkers since they are likely to reach out to large volume of consumers. Therefore, by supplying popcorns every day, you will keep your business on the go.


On average, a packet of popcorns is sold at 10 or 15 shillings. However, majority of those vendors at high traffic locations sell them on the lower price of ksh.10 a packet. On each business day, a popcorn entrepreneur can use 3 -5 kilograms of popcorn seeds that can produce around 700 to 1000 packets of popcorns. Given that a sack of popcorn seeds goes at around Ksh. 3500, at a close of a business day, popcorn business will bring forth desirable profits.

Final thoughts.

Popcorn venture is highly profitable if managed well. The secret is finding a conducive location that has high traffic. Further, ensure you create a brand by striving to remain competitive in the market. Also, treat your customers well by always serving them quality products at a reasonable quantity and price.

There you have it. What are you waiting for? Get on the task and smile all the way to the bank.

Next time we meet, remind me to buy a packet of popcorns. 

BTK Staff

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  • THAnks alot wich particular shop in nairobi or nakuru that sells popcorn machine.i desparately need one please.
    or can one get it in kisumu or kericho.assist

  • THAnks alot wich particular shop in nairobi or nakuru that sells popcorn machine.i desparately need one please.
    or can one get it in kisumu or kericho

  • Thanks again & again. I will soon start 2rd best brand of popcorn in Kenya. Majoring on caramel. I can help anybody acquire good machines from India and Canada. Budget 90k to 500k. Can u help establish a good contemporary markets place?

  • hello,thanks for the good idea,let me ask a quiz please.Is it possible to combine a popcorn business and a cleaning product shop?

    • Hi Truphena, yes you can.You should place the popcorn machine separate from the cleaning products due to hygiene. The most common practice among business owners is to place the popcorn machine just outside the shop.

    • Hello Pastor Margaret,

      We do not sell Popcorn machines but you can get one in a supermarket or wholesale shops. You can also search one on Olx (mostly second-hand) and see if you can get the best popcorn machine in your town.

  • Wow! Thanks for this amazing insight. There are many popcorn machines in the market. How do I choose the right one because I hear some do not pop all the corn?

    • Hello Rosse, my apologies for taking too long to reply to your query. Now, when choosing the ideal popcorn machine for your business, you have to consider the type (whether you want a counter-top or stand-alone), wattage, the kettle size (ranges from 4-32 OZ), etc. Also, if you are looking for a business machine, buy a new one from authorized dealers or supermarkets. Also check reviews online, like on Amazon and Aliexpress. I found a very good guide on Ebay, check it out here. ALso, popcornmachinereview.net is a site that reviews popcorn machines and you can read more about it here

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