Grainsmart is a combination of vitamins and iron developed by Nestlé to address the burden of micronutrient deficiency in the region.
“According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), two billion people in the world are affected by iron deficiency, which is the most common micronutrient disorder in sub-Saharan Africa,’’ said Victoria Uwadoka, Nestlé’s Corporate Communications and Public Affairs manager, noting that, annually, Nigeria loses over $1.5bn in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) directly and indirectly to vitamin and mineral deficiencies.
“The major health consequences of deficiency in essential micronutrients include impaired physical and cognitive development, which translates to reduced performance of school-aged children among others,” she said.
Nestlé’s commitment to health
Aboubacar Coulibaly, dairy category manager at Nestlé, said the company was tackling this burden through food fortification, noting 50% of its products are already fortified with micronutrients.
“The introduction of Golden Morn Puffs breakfast cereal is another step towards the fulfilment of our commitment to provide healthier food choices for all age groups,” he said.
He noted Golden Morn Puffs is primarily targeted at school-aged children who could suffer impaired physical and cognitive development resulting from deficiency in key vitamins and minerals.
According to Coulibaly, 95% of the maize, millet, oats and soya used in the new breakfast cereal are sourced from local farmers.
“We are very happy that the work we have been doing with local farmers for the past seven years on capacity building and grain quality improvement is yielding results,” he said.
Nestlé Nigeria – which began trading operations in 1961 – is one of the biggest food companies in West Africa, employing 2,400 people. It has three factories in the region, producing a range of products for local markets, including Nestlé Pure Life, Golden Morn, Milo, KitKat, Maggi and Nescafé.
Results for the year ended December 2017 show revenue increased from ₦181bn in 2016 ($502m) to ₦244bn ($677m) in 2017.