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Deep-fried future (3) Ethiopia catches the attention of multinational chain, Yum!

Fast food outlets are scarce in Addis Ababa - where vegetable and spicy meat dishes are served with injera.

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Shisa Nyama


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Written by Stuart Graham

Ethiopia, with Africa’s second-largest population (94million) and economic growth averaging 9.3% over the past four years, according to the IMF, has caught the attention of multinational chain Yum! Brands.

Fast food outlets are scarce in Addis Ababa - where vegetable and spicy meat dishes are served with injera, a sour flatbread made from fermented teff flour - the potential for profit is significant.

Ethiopia is the one that stands out,” Bruce Layzell, Yum’s general manager for new African markets, told Bloomberg News.

We don’t want to go to a country where we can only build four or five restaurants.

We want to go in and build 50, 100. Our business is the scale game.”

In Uganda, where a main dish is usually centered on a sauce or stew of groundnuts, beans or meat, with a starch of ugali maize meal, people are increasingly moving towards burgers and fries.

A study published in the African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development says the consumption of fast-food in the country is becoming an important component of the food market, as more of the working class choose to dine out rather than prepare meals at home.

The high demand for fast-food is seen as an easy solution to consumers’ busy schedules and limited meal-preparation time,” the study found.

Its results show that chips, deep fried chicken, sausages, deep fried meat and “chaps” are the main fast foods consumed in Kampala district. 

Apart from time spent away from home, it found that education level, disposable monthly income, household size and age significantly affected respondents’ probability of fast-food consumption.

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