Globalization, changing demographic profiles and lifestyles are rapidly changing the Kenyan hospitality landscape with more and more international and multinational corporations and restaurant chains entering the local market. Increasingly supermarkets and department stores in the malls are entering the foodservice industry offering cooked meals, convenience and packed, mostly junk food. Access to healthy and safe food is high on the national agenda, with emphasis on improving the health, wellbeing and quality of life for individuals and families across lifespan. Generally, the food industry, comprising the manufacturing and retail sectors, supermarkets, street ready to eat food vendors, outside catering companies, international agencies, and institutions are under great pressure to address increasing consumer concerns regarding the need for good quality, healthy, safe and sustainable food.
Traditional hospitality and culinary programs emphasize competency in the production and services of tasty food and beverages at profit with little consideration on the health aspects of feeding and eating leading to a need for qualified graduates with a sound knowledge of food processing, packaging and safety, consumer behaviour, and retailing. The Department of Food and Consumer Studies offers certificates, diploma, and degree programs that prepare graduates to be professionals who can integrate knowledge of food, consumer behaviour , and merchandising process to a broad spectrum of problems facing hospitality enterprises, individual consumers, families, service agencies and retail markets of products and services. This result in the production of healthy and safe foods, relevant goods and services geared to meet industry and societal expectations. The programs offered by the department provide students with opportunity to investigate different possibilities of their career path which may include managers in restaurants, catering, food vending and service, household consumer products retailing, sales and marketing, sales, educators and trainers, consumer consultants, and entrepreneurs.
Our degree and diploma programmes comprise intensive theoretical and practical training as well as extensive Industry-Based Learning (IBL) and community service. Our advanced training and degree programs involve rigorous study of fashion and textile history, development and production with hands-on training in the analysis, conservation, storage, and exhibition of textile and costume materials, and in collections management and exhibition planning and design. We educate and train for the real world. Graduates of the program can work in supermarkets, hospitals, cruise line and airline catering, in test kitchens, formulating and developing recipes for industrial food production; training employees in retail and food manufacturing; implementing quality control systems; advising consumers on food and nutrition products; managing the preparation and production as well as outsourcing of industrial meals and convenience food products; supervising food retail departments and managing food service facilities, and as entrepreneurs. Additionally, food and consumer studies graduates are prepared for advanced studies in supermarket and food retail management, family and home management, hospitality and catering management studies.