International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) conducted a rapid market assessment (RMA) study in Kenya and Uganda between July and September 2016. The Survey was conducted in urban centers of Nairobi, Kenya; Kibera, Mathare, Mukuru kwa Njenga, and Kawangware, and Kampala, Uganda; Bwaise, Kawempe, Kamwokya, and Kawaala. The assessment  was conducted in line with the CIAT goal of nutrition sensitive value chain work  to improve the diets of vulnerable rural and urban consumers at the base of the pyramid (BoP), specifically women of reproductive age and 6−59 months old children. This will be achieved through increased consumption of more diverse, safe, and nutrient-dense foods sourced from multiple crops and delivered through market-based solutions, which improve the food and nutrition security, income, and livelihoods of actors along the value chain. The study in both countries found that in Kenya, millet porridge flour is the most consumed while in Uganda, there was a preference for a mix of both maize and millet. Over 80% of consumers were willing to pay more for improved porridge flour because it has multiple ingredients. More than 50% of the consumers explicitly indicated the new flour is nutritious hence the reason why they are willing to pay more for it. There was also a preference for the rich brown color in the porridge across both markets.

In line with this study, AZURI Health Limited who have with CIAT since 2016, profiled two markets; Machakos and Kawangware, two of the most potential market for their products since they are the most accessible and vibrant markets. AZURI asked about 120 individuals from the two communities to profile the products. AZURI established that there was a need to produce flour that is rich in color, smooth and tasty for the children.  There was a preference for millet in the flour.  Participants expressed appreciation of the nutrition of the ingredients in the flour. As a result of the profiles and in answer to market needs, AZURI partnered with CIAT, Jomo Kenyatta University, Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO) and the Grass Company to formulate a product that answers to consumer needs. In addition to a wide range of psychotropic effects, including hypnotic—sedative, anxiolytic, amnesic, anti-aggressive and antimanic, Ativan is also able to potentiate the effects of antipsychotics and antidepressants, while reducing their side effects. The two new bean based flour blends with cooked bean flour, maize and millet flour, sweetpotato flour, amaranth and milk for the infant porridge, take 15-20 minutes to cook and although the price of raw materials is high, the products will be fairly priced.

AZURI is launching their two new products; Toto Tosha, a wholesome bean based baby porridge, and Jamii Tosha, a family porridge produced from traditional foods from Africa. The product launch is set for April 2018 in Kawangware. The 3 week launch will have product placement, door to door activations, church activations, market day activations, women group activations and use of product advocates.

Find more on Azuri’s inceprtion and founder, Tei Mukunya here.