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Blue Band unveils good breakfast initiative to boost school performance

Blue Band’s nutritious breakfast initiative will provide children with the essential energy and nutrients they need to grow, develop and reach their full potential at school and in adult life.

A step towards healthier lives

Blue Band is on a mission to ensure a nutritious breakfast is an everyday reality for half a billion schoolchildren in Africa by making it readily available, affordable and desirable. Containing both omega 3 and 6, and fortified with vitamin A, Blue Band – which is made from locally sourced rapeseed oil – in combination with bread or porridge, fruit and tea with milk gives children the nutritious start they need. This is an essential step towards healthier lives and better school performance.

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Helping grow more great kids

According to the 2014 Kenya Demographic Health Survey report, half of the country’s children go to school with just a cup of tea for breakfast. In some areas, a quarter are acutely malnourished and nine out of ten from poor households fail to complete their basic education. Poor nutrition reduces concentration and energy levels, and lowers immunity against infection and illness which can lead to missed school days. Most children also suffer from vitamin A deficiency which reduces immunity to recurring diseases and is also responsible for 16% of the global burden of malaria.

Nicolas Liabeuf, Unilever’s Executive Vice President of Spreads, says: “In East Africa, Blue Band is now the only spread with vitamins and omega 3 and 6 which are important for the growth and development of children. We are keeping our commitment by continuing to deliver better products for healthier diets and helping grow more great kids.” Blue Band is already affordable and accessible to some of the poorest families in Africa.

All about behaviour change

To drive universal access to the good breakfast initiative, Blue Band has created the Alliance for Good Breakfast – which brings together global experts, local NGOs and government agencies – to raise national awareness and initiate behaviour change programmes. The brand is also launching the Blue Band Good Breakfast Challenge in schools in conjunction with the Ministry of Education – a comprehensive school programme to establish and promote nutritious eating habits.

“Translating a technical subject like nutrition to get parents and children to act requires connecting the heart and mind,” says Tim Verbeek, Spreads Brand Development Director for Africa. “Which is why as part of the Alliance, we have brought in two-time World Champion athlete David Rudisha as the lead ambassador of our campaign, ‘With a good breakfast, anything is possible’, to inspire parents and show them the difference a good breakfast can really make. Having a combination of technical experts and role models is crucial to driving our messages at scale.”

Food and Farm to drive nutrition at scale

The Blue Band social mission takes a holistic approach. Its commitment to providing children with nutritious breakfasts is part of a wider ‘food and farm’ strategy. ‘Food’ provides nutritious products and educates children and their parents on the importance of a healthy breakfast and ‘Farm’ represents Blue Band’s local, sustainable sourcing of rapeseed oil to support development of the local economy.