Editor’s Choice

Arimis: Kenyan women love this cow jelly more than Toyota… ‘Always,’ Coca-Cola!

This milking jelly emerged 5th among ‘100 Most Loved Brands 2022’ ahead of even mitumba clothes

Like a baby’s bottom: Kenyan socialite Huddah Monroe (above) skin care brand, Huddah Cosmetics, was ranked number 55 while Arimis was 50 brands ahead. The popularity of this cow milking jelly spread by word of mouth from farmers and is known to among others; prevent wrinkles, keep the skin hydrated and elastic.

 By Shifa Mwihaki

Feature writer/Essayist

Arimi’s is a milking jelly meant for tits. Cow’s tits. Why do Kenyan women, mostly lactating mothers, now stock it? Yet Arimi’s is for dairy farmers. They apply it on the udder of their cows before and after milking sessions.

In fact, the name is from ‘Arimi’, Kimeru for ‘farmer’! And why do Kenyan men stock it as well?

 Once upon a time, Arimi’s milking jelly was used in rural Kenya when the petroleum jelly containers had been ‘licked’ dry by toughened rural fingers.

Now trendy city women are using Arimi’s on their kids’ bottoms when not applying it themselves on their limbs.

The manufacturers clearly indicate Arimi’s is for cows in Kiswahili: ‘Mafuta ya kukamua ng’ombe (milking jelly)’

Skin Deep: Milking jelly was also ahead of KCB bank at number 10, NHIF (12), Quickmart (16), Toyota (24) and mitumba clothes at 38 among the ‘100 Most Loved Brand by Kenyan Women 2022.’ Rumours that Arimis was being rebranded was met with social media uproar!

Never mind, Arimi’s once got strangers asking: “Nani huyo ametoka kukamua ng’ombe?” Arimi’s was originally meant to ease the milking of Nguno, the family cow.

But the jelly is now a common item inside women’s handbags. In the just concluded ‘100 Most loved Brands by Women in Kenya 2022′, Arimis emerged top five beating Always sanitary pads, Coca-Cola products, Naivas supermarkets, Gotv and emerged banking giant KCB. The survey carried out by Ipsos and BSD Group and released this week revealed that only Safaricom, MPesa, Airtel and Equity bank were more loved brands by Kenyan women than Arimis.

Yet, the manufacturers clearly indicate Arimi’s is for cows. They even have instructions in Kiswahili: “Mafuta ya kukamua ng’ombe (milking jelly). Complete with the picture of a cow for the illiterate. 

Hanish Shah noticed small-scale farmers had difficulties milking. So, he created a high quality, but affordable jelly

Let’s face it: Hanish Shah who created Arimis in Meru in 1983 is now thinking of making Arimi’s lip balm, would you believe it?

Just so you know, Arimi’s milking jelly was created by Hanish Shah in Meru County in 1983. Hanish was born in Meru, although his dad was from Thika in Kiambu County.  Hanish had noticed small-scale farmers had difficulties milking. So, he created a high quality, but affordable jelly made from waxes and oils.

The popularity of Arimi’s saw operations shift from Meru to Nairobi in 1985. Arimi’s is manufactured by Tri-Clover Industries where Hanish is MD and he often explains that “Arimi’s is meant for cattle, but is also safe on skin care. We have never marketed it as a skincare product.”

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