Private sector has important role in influencing consumers’food choices through nutrition communication. - Trends and Politics

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Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Private sector has important role in influencing consumers’food choices through nutrition communication.

Following the fact that globally, an estimated 165 million children under the age of five years are stunted 52 million are wasted and deficient in key vitamins and minerals; and the increase in the use of the internet and the social media, especially on information relating to food and nutritional products, it has become imperative to strengthened nutrition education through communication tools and strategies.
In a recent workshop on “Nutrition Communication and Social Media Marketing” by the SUN Business Network, a private initiative geared towards improving nutrition in over 29 nations in the world, the country coordinator, Uduak Igbeka said that the need to support businesses to better communicate nutrition to consumers and also to sensitize them on how to maximize the social media for better marketing of nutritious foods has become more imperative.
According to her, delivering the right nutrition messages has become necessary, as the average consumer has become more inquisitive about the nutritional value of any product, which can be easily accessed from the comfort of their smart phones. Thus, she urged them to know and understand the challenges of transacting business online, social enterprise and the barriers to effective social marketing communication Tuesday.

The workshop also had in attendance officials from the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON) and Federal Ministry of Health who provided regulatory perspectives on food related policies including the International Code of Marketing of Breast Milk Substitutes (BMS). The regulators also provided clarity to participants on the expectations of the government from product development to product registration as well as communication to consumers.
The lead speaker, Mrs. Iquo Ukoh, CEO of Entod Marketing/1Q Food Platter, engaged the participants on the various behavioural patterns in food purchase and food trends that have changed among consumers in recent years; a situation which she said is caused to a large extent by socio-environmental influences on consumer choices.
She further provided insights into why it has become pertinent for businesses involved in food and related activities to not only master the act of engaging different social media platforms in order to get their products across to the desired consumer but also understand how to craft customised messages to fit each platform and attract specific consumer groups.

The SUN Business Network in Nigeria, convened by the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) is committed to supporting and strengthening the private sector’s contribution towards improving nutrition in Nigeria, through increased demand for nutritious foods and improved nutrition sensitivity along the agricultural value chain.

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