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Open Access Communicating the benefits of micronutrient fortification

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Abstract:

Food fortification offers an affordable, convenient, and effective mechanism to improve the nutrition status of large segments of a population. However, the success of fortification has been less than public-health professionals and private-sector companies alike have hoped for, though often for different reasons. As new opportunities are available, success will be dictated by the ability of public health professionals to learn from private food companies' marketing efforts and, in turn, for the food companies to learn from the public health sector about how to reach groups who need fortified products the most. Simply having fortified products on the market does not promise that consumers will use the products or that businesses will continue to promote them. Carefully crafted and strategically implemented behavior-change communication can inform and motivate consumers to purchase and use the products appropriately, and, in turn, can motivate food companies, program managers, and policy makers to participate in the marketing of these products. Public health and development professionals can learn from the success of private-sector companies in creating demand for products. Good consumer research and testing can guide effective development and marketing of fortified products, as they do for all products and services. Private-sector companies that know how to market products need assistance to focus on the poorest segments of a population to pursue cost-effective strategies to get the product to those in need, in addition to those with purchasing power for the new product. Audience-specific marketing strategies can ensure that the same fortified product reaches every person who would benefit from it.

Keywords: COMMUNICATION; FOOD FORTIFICATION; MARKETING; MICRONUTRIENTS; POVERTY REDUCTION; PUBLIC HEALTH

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2003

More about this publication?
  • Established in 1978, the Food and Nutrition Bulletin (FNB) is a peer-reviewed journal published quarterly by the Nevin Scrimshaw International Nutrition Foundation.

    The focus of the journal is to highlight original scientific articles on nutrition research, policy analyses, and state-of-the-art summaries relating to multidisciplinary efforts to alleviate the problems of hunger and malnutrition in the developing world.

    Food and Nutrition Bulletin's 2012 Impact Factor: 2.106

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