Supermoms on Tricycles
Ethiopian firm GUTS Agro has launched a product never before made in Ethiopia – an affordable, highly nutritious corn-soya blend for young children and expectant and nursing mothers. The product, known as Supermom’s, is targeted at low-income households.
Supermom’s, which launched in July, was developed with technical and funding support from the 2SCALE project. It’s being rolled out initially in three cities, and will reach nine towns and cities by mid-2016.
Supermom’s is made from maize and soybeans produced by 2SCALE farmer groups, and is fortified with vitamin A, Zinc and minerals. The distribution method is as innovative as the product. Supermom’s is hawked door-to-door by young women on ‘tricycles’. The program is known as Likie, meaning “just the right size.”
2SCALE played a major role in product design, packaging and developing the Likie concept. The project also linked GUTS Agro to Dutch industry experts via the PUM program. Experienced food technologists from the Netherlands worked with GUTS staff to modify the production line, perfect the recipe, reduce energy costs and make the process flexible enough to use either powder or fresh milk, depending on the season.
The Likie distribution model shortens the supply chain, with products going directly from factory to consumer. This eliminates mark-ups by middlemen, reduces costs for the consumer and substantially reduces the risk of deterioration in transit. It also increases nutrition awareness among poor women, because the sales ladies are trained to offer nutrition education.