January webinars: Marketing nutritious foods to the poorest communities

Nutritious foods have been notoriously hard to sell to people with the lowest incomes – but there is progress with the emergence of new customer insights and models. The importance of demand creation, targeted, effective marketing, and innovative distribution mechanisms are particularly critical in getting nutritious products into the homes and onto the plates of the poorest communities.

GAIN joins the Practitioner Hub for Inclusive Business, an online platform providing information, the latest good practice, insight and analysis on inclusive business, and Hystra, a global consulting firm specialized in inclusive business, in hosting a series of webinars on getting  nutritious products to the poorest communities. The second in our series of webinars take place this Thursday 19 January at 7.30pm Delhi time, 5pm Nairobi time, 2pm London time and 9am New York time.

This series will cover key aspects in marketing and distribution of nutritious products to markets at the base of the pyramid (BoP) or the lowest income groups.  The discussion will focus mostly on marketing nutritious products targeting infant and young children, though most of the lessons learnt apply to other nutritious foods (or even more widely to other beneficial consumer goods). It will share practical insight gathered from research by Hystra and GAIN into effective models.

Join speakers Marti van Liere, Director of Maternal, Infant and Young Child Nutrition at GAIN and Lucie Klarsfeld McGrath, Senior Project Manager at Hystra and lead author on Marketing Nutrition to the BoP, on the webinars hosted by The Practitioner Hub for Inclusive Business editor Caroline Ashley.

Effective delivery channels and ensuring business viability of nutrition enterprises
Friday 19 January: 7.30pm Delhi time, 5pm Nairobi time, 2pm London time and 9am New York time.

This webinar will focus on how enterprises organise the last mile distribution of their nutrition products, what costs various channels entail, and how effective these channels are at getting appropriate products in the hands of those who need them most.

The discussion will cover insights on the following:

  • Distribution channels in rural areas.
  • Distribution channels in urban markets.
  • Best practices for optimising sales force productivity.

The speakers will share lessons learned from experience of a range of companies and organisations about what consumers value, their willingness to pay, and drivers of trust and compliance.

Register  for the webinar here

Not able to make it? The recording and presentations will be available on the event page here.

The first webinar, below, took place last week,  and was entitled: building demand for and repeat usage of nutritious foods.

Nutritious foods or supplements provide a solution to a ‘problem’ or a ‘need’ understood by nutrition experts.  This webinar explored challenges in creating demand for nutritious products to low income households and aimed to answer some of the following questions based on GAIN and Hystra’s experience:

How do we get Base of the Pyramid (BoP) consumers interested in a nutritional product ?

Price is not the only driving factor for low-income consumers – nor is the health or nutrition benefit. Even with limited purchasing power, BoP consumers are making choices on the basis of quality and value for money to ensure they are getting their money’s worth. When it comes to nutritious foods (for example child porridges) a mother wants what is best for her child, but she also looks for a trusted brand, a food her child likes and convenience in terms of preparation time for instance. Addressing the consumer’s wants (not only their nutrition needs) is therefore paramount to creating demand for nutrition.

What drives trust, aspiration and willingness to pay? How do we get the consumer to use it at least once ?

Building a credible, identifiable brand and attractive packaging are important to prompt a consumer to try a product for the first time. Poor consumers have aspirations just like richer ones and are looking for products that are aspirational. They are therefore willing to buy products that look appealing or carry an endorsement by a reputable organisation. It is important to emphasize the nutritional or health benefit when promoting nutritious foods; however nutrition messages alone are not enough !

Any promotion of nutritious products should be aligned with a national nutrition strategy and compliant with national or international guidelines. For fresh foods that are not necessarily packaged, an aspirational campaign can be effective at promoting healthy eating practices more generally.

How do we promote regular use, which is compliant with recommended frequency and quantity of consumption to ensure impact on nutritional status ?

Reminders and incentives: find ways to remind the consumer that they need to use the product continuously in order to see impact e.g. using calendars, through SMS or social media AND incentivise them to keep coming back for more e.g. through a rewards scheme.

Follow the discussion on Twitter using #Marketing4BOP

Updated 17 January 2017

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