Oct 2015 – Aug 2017

Testing a commercial approach to tackling maternal malnutrition

Ghana

Country

Ghana – Africa

To demonstrate the commercial viability of two to four affordable fortified foods for pregnant and lactating women and their effectiveness in reducing low birth weight.

$1,937,600 Multi-Year Grant Value

Partners

Other funders

  • German Government -

  • Ajinomoto Inc. -

  • Sight & Life Foundation

This programme will help demonstrate that it is possible to persuade a significant proportion of pregnant and lactating women to use nutrient-rich supplements regularly through commercial routes. 

Our grant will support two to four local businesses in increasing production and availability of micronutrient-rich foods targeted at pregnant and lactating women. It will also support communication and marketing activities to promote appropriate consumption of the fortified foods by women.

The final stages of product development are currently underway, including an acceptability study during the middle of 2016, with test marketing expected to start in December of 2016.

A quality seal - designed to help both the consumers and businesses - will be applied to all products. Businesses can be confident they are offering a good quality product and distinguish it from competitors. Consumers can make a quick and confident choice based this easy-to-see visual mark.

These businesses are committing to offer these products at affordable price points and pack sizes so women from poorer households can buy and use them regularly.

The visual below lays out the overall process.

An image explaining the Affordable Nutritious Foods for Women programme

Impact

Frequency of consumption will be measured through coverage surveys. Sales and financial data from the businesses involved will help demonstrate financial sustainability of these commercial routes. 

A separate efficacy study will help show that the products, when consumed regularly by pregnant women, help reduce instances of low birth weight.

A successful programme in Ghana is expected to spur similar initiatives in other markets and be a source of learning for future projects.