- March 12, 2019
- Sight and Life
- Most Recent, Demand Creation
OBAASIMA is a trusted trademark for fortified foods aiming to increase the availability of and access to affordable, safe andnutritious food products for Ghanaian women. This engaging initiative has been making waves when it comes to developing fortified food products in Ghana.
Recently, OBAASIMA has collaborated with Premium Foods Limited, an agro-processing company with a focus on breweries, poultry farmers, and food distributors. Over the past 20 years they have worked with smallholder farmers, addressing nutritional needs through local food staple fortification for industries, including rice, cassava, maize, soya beans, millet, and sorghum to meet the micronutrient requirements of Ghanaian’s. Premium Foods has a strong focus on nutrition, making sure nutritious and affordable foods are available to everyone, especially for their target market. Here at Sight and Life, we had an opportunity to speak with Gladys M. T. Sampson, General Manager of Premium Foods Limited, about malnutrition in Ghana and their collaboration with OBAASIMA.
GS: Gladys M.T. Sampson
SAL: Sight and Life
SAL: What is the key reason Premium Foods has decided to align its products with the strict nutrient profile required for the OBAASIMA seal?
GS: In the past, Premium Foods has been a business-to-business company adding nutritional value to grains and other staple foods in order to meet micronutrient deficiencies in Ghana. The OBAASIMA label is authentic; it shares the same mandate and supports our target consumers to meet their micronutrient requirements. To the Premium Foods brand authenticity is important, so when we have an authentic label, like OBAASIMA, associated with the brand it is ideal. This is what convinced us to collaborate with OBAASIMA.
SAL: What was the biggest issue you faced when signing on with OBAASIMA?
GS: Initially, we had a different micronutrient formulation in our product than the nutritional requirements of OBAASIMA. This was the only thing that we were discussing and we decided to include the whole spectrum of the micronutrient requirement in our product. It was a positive discussion leading us to change our micronutrients composition to adapt to the OBAASIMA label.
SAL: What are some of the biggest challenges you face in providing nutritious products to consumers? Moreover, how does the OBAASIMA seal help resolve those issues?
GS: The only challenge on my end is that being a business-to-business company, we need to learn the most effective ways to market and distribute our new consumer products. However, working with OBAASIMA, which focuses on consumer products, enabled us to tap into their experience and ensure we can move into this area.
SAL: Can you share any details about your first product for OBAASIMA?
GS: It is a porridge. The product is called “LOVIT,” a blend of maize and soya beans fortified with minerals and vitamins meeting the requirements of the OBAASIMA seal.
SAL: In your opinion, what makes the OBAASIMA seal stand out from other options?
GS: There are various products on the market and OBAASIMA, in our language, stands for the perfect woman, a holistic woman. So the label itself sends a positive message and is appealing to consumers, well that is what I think. It is something positive.
SAL: What has exceeded your expectations by using or working with OBAASIMA?
GS: Looking back at the product development process with Daniel and Jonson from OBAASIMA, we received a lot of technical inputs from them. Their willingness to contribute and ability to advise on technical issues is something that is a plus and a benefit I cannot quantify.
SAL: What is the main reason you would recommend to others to use the OBAASIMA seal with their products?
GS: I think as a nation (in Ghana), we have a problem with hidden hunger, which means a low intake of many important micronutrients. I think that if we are looking to fight hidden hunger together as a nation, then we need to create more of these products with the OBAASIMA label. To consumers this authentic label guarantees your food product can help meet your micronutrient requirements. Although, Premium Foods cannot do it alone.