Ocean Basket continues South African brands’ foray into rest of continent

The past years have seen numerous South African fast food and restaurant companies expand into the rest of the continent – from Debonairs Pizza with its free delivery service to steak house Spur looking to lure customers with its chargrilled meats.

Today it was announced that another well-known restaurant brand, Ocean Basket, will enter Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. Ocean Basket is South Africa’s largest chain of seafood restaurants with 175 franchised outlets, of which 21 are international.

Hoggers Limited, a company that currently runs the Steers and Debonairs Pizza franchises in Kenya, has bought the exclusive licence for Ocean Basket in the three East African countries.

According to an Ocean Basket statement, all products for the East African stores will be sourced from South Africa. It is expected that the first outlet will open later this year.

In an earlier interview with How we made it in Africa, Hoggers managing director Azam Samanani said the company is targeting the “upper half” of Kenya’s growing middle class.

“While the overall population is growing, the number of people breaking into the middle class is probably a higher proportion than the overall growth, and therein lies the big opportunity… The average Kenyan is still having a tough time and it’s not getting better very quickly, but the number of people we’re looking at as heavy consumers in the middle class is about 2m people (from Kenya’s 43m population) and it’s growing fast,” said Samanani.

In the interview, Samanani also explained that many South African businesses fail in the rest of the continent because they think they can operate in exactly the same way as in their home market. “We have been successful because we are Kenyan, we look at our market and we figure out what is appropriate for our market.”