Every Kenyan has probably heard of Arimi’s Petroleum Jelly. Initially, it was referred to as milking jelly. In the village, those days when growing up, it was known as ng’ombe. This is the only petroleum jelly that millions of households knew.
Despite the many brands that have come up to rival Arimi’s, the brand seems as strong as a rock and has never been swayed. It has never rebranded and has never changed its look and appearance since its launch in the 1980s. But who owns it?
Arimi’s was founded in 1983 by billionaire Hanish Shah. He never intended that the brand will be used by humans to apply to their bodies. When launching the product, he targeted small-scale dairy farmers in Meru and neighboring places.
The product was meant to make the milking of the cows easy by reducing the friction between the palm of the farmer and the udder of the cow. It also had some chemicals that helped the udder to be soft and heal in case of any wounds or injuries.
Arimi’s became so popular that in 2020, a survey by IPSOS placed it among the top 20 most popular and loved brands. It ranked at position five out of the 20.
The pioneer of Arimi’s initially operated a boutique before he abandoned the business and found a calling in Arimi’s. One interesting thing about the brand is that you will never see it advertising. It is just there and people are always loving it.
One of the main reasons why the brand is so popular is that it is affordable. It is real and has been on the market for years. Everyone who was born in the 80s grew up interacting with it. It is also easily accessible to the lowest person in the village.
What is your experience with Arimi’s?