Thanks to the great support from Danone Early Life Nutrition and Danone Communities, Nutrigo social business started in 2010 and subsequently registered as a social business enterprise in 2013.
The mission of Nutrigo is to reduce anemia deficiency in China through a social business selling an affordable complementary food (YingYangBao in Chinese) to low incomes families as well as an education program.
Why does it matter?
China is developing rapidly in terms of economy. However, anemia (iron deficiency) is affecting more than 10 million children, where the rate is still over 45% in poor rural areas (central and west region of China), even reaching 58% at age of 12 to 17 months.
Experts in China, Prof. Chen Chunming and Prof. Zhu Zonghan (from International Life Science Institute (ILSI) at China Disease Center, the governmental body in charge of public health issues) believed that to impact behaviors, the program should leverage business levers: "we need to work on education but this will take 30 years, so we have to take full advantage of the power of marketing and business to change behaviors"
How does it work?
In China rural areas, doctors are screening anemia and if necessary they will advise for better nutrition and fortified complementary food such as Nutrigo products. Demand for Nutrigo products is created with education program (forums or road shows) to Health Care Professionals, whom in-turn educate parents on anemia and the importance of good dietary habits. Nutrigo products are sold in rural pharmacies.
On top, Nutrigo benefits from the support of other enterprises, celebrities, as well as Danone employees through donation campaigns.
How does this project create value?
Nutrigo has a proven impact on anemia reduction of babies, achieving about 73% anemia reduction. The clinical studies are conducted by China Disease Center experts team after having 1 year of NutriGo YingYangBao products.
In 2018, Nutrigo has covered 1,220 town and villages in China with 65,000 baby users.
“Using a social business model is a way to impact a bigger number of babies in China.”
CEO of Danone Communities
Photo credit: © Sandro di Carlo Darsa