Make an opportunity, solve a problem, part I

Latest posts by Christine Haskell (see all)

Mondays just fail to register for me when I don’t hear the stopwatch on Sunday evenings. I saw this segment on Plumpynut for the second time on 60 Minutes. I’m glad this topic has come around again, and felt just as dumbfounded as to why this is such a difficult problem to solve this time as I did the first time.

Quick Background

  • Journalist-designed-to-attract-women-in-their-30s visits third world (complete with Prada-T) and interviews the Nobel Prize-winning relief group “Doctors Without Borders.”
  • Every year, malnutrition kills five million children – that’s one child every six seconds.
  • Dr. Milton Tectonidis, the chief nutritionist for Doctors Without Borders says Plumpynut is cheap, easy to make, and even easier to use.
  • Plumpynut is a ready-to-eat, vitamin-enriched paste that has the capacity to serve like an essential medicine; in three weeks, a child that looked half dead can be cured.

The Problem

Mothers in these villages can’t produce enough milk themselves and can’t afford to buy it. Even if they could, they can’t store it — there’s no electricity, so no refrigeration. Powdered milk is useless because most villagers don’t have clean water.

The Solution

Plumpynut is simple: it is made of peanut butter, powdered milk, powdered sugar, and enriched with vitamins and minerals. It tastes like a peanut butter paste. It is very sweet, and because of that kids cannot get enough of it. The formula was developed by a nutritionist. It doesn’t need refrigeration, water, or cooking; mothers simply squeeze out the paste. Many children can even feed themselves. Each serving is the equivalent of a glass of milk and a multivitamin.

My Question

Given the simplicity of this product, why haven’t companies like Kraft, Nestle or Procter & Gamble…with their decades of knowledge in product management, manufacturing and global distribution not done something about this?

It’s those organizations that can secure a government contract, produce this kind of product at a low cost and distribute it. There is a market, it’s cheap, and the product will make money!!! What’s the deal?

Previous Article

Temporary Health Insurance, Is It Right For You?

Next Article

Top tips for REAL joint venture relationships

Related Posts
Read More

Business Entity Types Affect Financing Options

One of the most important decisions you’ll have to make for your new business is to determine a business entity type. While the topic may seem daunting for new entrepreneurs, establishing a business entity early on is vital because the structure you choose will have financial and legal implications for your business. One of the...
Read More

A Q&A with Ryan Close of Bartesian: Creating and Marketing a Game Changer

Bartesian started as a dream for Ryan Close. But in just a few years, his cocktail company had 975% year-over-year growth and more than $50 million in sales. The business is a media darling and has been featured in such publications as Forbes, Esquire, People and others. And not just every product lands on Oprah's...
Read More

The Role of a Recruiter and HR in Small Business

You’ve launched your business and it’s humming along. Like most entrepreneurs, you wear plenty of hats, including chief human resources (HR) and recruitment officer. Here’s the problem, though: You can’t handle all your employee-related responsibilities forever. If you do, you could find yourself in trouble. The issue isn’t just that you’re going to spread yourself...
Read More

Don’t Quit and Other Lessons from a Wantrepreneur Turned Entrepreneur

I’ve tried many businesses and side hustles over the past 15 years. I’ve mowed lawns, was a DJ at weddings, negotiated real estate deals, started an e-commerce business, and many others. Some of those endeavors made me money, but others didn’t. Now I have a successful digital marketing agency. People often ask me how I...