Improving dietary diversity and ensuring adequate availability and intake of nutritious foods are vital to give children the best possible start in life. In Kaduna State, Nigeria, few young children meet the international standards for dietary diversity, and childhood undernutrition is widespread. Eggs are a widely available and affordable source of protein, vitamins, and minerals that support growth and development, yet they are not frequently fed to children in Kaduna. The ‘Eggs Make Kids’ campaign was launched by GAIN on World Egg Day in October 2019. Using commercial marketing techniques and insights into consumer behaviour, it aims to create demand for eggs as a nutritious food for children aged six months to five years.
The campaign encourages parents to feed children at least two eggs per week. With support and engagement from the Kaduna State government, the Poultry Association of Nigeria, egg vendors, and creative agencies, the campaign utilises multiple communication channels to create a strong emotional appeal to increase caregivers’ willingness to buy eggs and feed them to their children. Several important lessons were learned while testing this new model that should be considered in future campaigns. There are limitations to using egg sales trends for monitoring due to factors including a lack of historical sales data, seasonality, and price fluctuations. Working with creative agencies requires a new style of partnership management, and real-time monitoring allows for agility when challenges arise. There is also a critical need for early baseline assessment and access to current, local data.
This project was feasible because of strong institutional support, established egg supply, and an existing poultry aggregation network. Such issues must be factored in when considering the transferability of the approach to another location, or to other unbranded foods. The “Eggs Make Kids” campaign will be evaluated via a rigorous impact evaluation. Whilst that has not yet been completed, the campaign offers an example of a promising opportunity to improve children’s diets and support local food systems by promoting fresh, nutrient-dense foods.