Make an opportunity, solve a problem, part II

Latest posts by Christine Haskell (see all)

After I wrote the post on Plumpynut, I could not get the story out of my head. It was a classic example of a company meeting a need with the simplest of solutions – and yet I can not understand why some of the larger manufacturing operations are not getting into this game. They would be safer than some of the get-rich quick companies in China or India, who seem to not be regulated as heavily. 

Surely companies like Nestle, Kraft and P&G can:

  • produce this product at the lowest cost
  • dedicate crop space to this product
  • create jobs around the world and build people and communities with a single flavor

And it’s interesting, this story has done more to spur conversation (in person, not on the blog ‘obviously’) about how people can make money doing the right thing. A former collegue even approached me on starting a manufacturing company, which is tempting. I mean, if small mom and pop shops can figure out how to manufacture, market and sell gourmet dog treats – we should be able to figure out how to make a simple peanut butter mixture.

I thought I would share a little additional information on the company that is currently supplying UNICEF.

Nutriset, a private company in France was founded by former African aid worker Michel Lescanne, has been selling food products to combat hunger and malnutrition since 1986. And it finally has a hit on its hands. Plumpy’nut, a patented nutritional supplement, was distributed to an estimated 500,000 children last year – double the number in 2005 and up from just 120,000 in 2004. One 3-ounce packet delivers 500 calories. Severely malnourished children can thrive on three or four a day.

Orders from big buyers like Unicef helped Nutriset’s sales top $25 million in 2006, up from $6.5 million in 2001. Most entrepreneurs would crow about such growth, but not company director Adeline Lescanne. “We don’t want to be a multinational,” she says. “We want to produce all that is needed. If we have to grow, we will grow to satisfy need.”

With no direct competitors and so many hungry people on the planet, Nutriset’s future growth looks certain. Would-be social entrepreneurs should remember the lesson of Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus’s micro-finance bank: Sometimes the best solution to a big problem is a small one -in this case, one that fits in the palm of a child’s hand

She says Nutriset reinvests 80 percent of its profit – or about $2.5 million during the past year – into developing new products, and the firm is partnering with entrepreneurs in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Malawi, and Niger to produce Plumpy’nut locally. Each African franchisee will be a for-profit entity that relies on less expensive local ingredients to deliver Nutriset’s proprietary recipe.

Related articles:

Total
0
Shares
Previous Article

You Gotta Start Your Week

Next Article

Ho! Ho! Ho! It’s Holiday Time for PR

Related Posts
sales team strategy
Read More

The Best Investments to Improve Your Sales Team Strategy

Creating and maintaining a thriving business depends on the success of sales performance. Essentially, the effectiveness of your sales team at generating revenue is directly related to the success of your business. Keeping your sales team motivated and helping them maximize their performance can be challenging, but with the right tools and investments, you can...
MarTech
Read More

Small Businesses That Own Their MarTech Can Edge Out the Competition

Adjustments to data protection regulations and Big Tech's revamping of how applications and third-party brokers acquire data sets have upended the world of user data management and remarketing. Big Tech, GDPR, privacy browsers and different privacy compliance standards are removing the user data of billions of users from the control of third-party marketing providers that...
brand awareness
Read More

5 Ways Technology Can Improve Brand Awareness

Brand awareness is more important than ever. Without it, customers can’t differentiate between your business and the competition. As a result, whether they shop in-store or online, they may not remember your company after a purchase, even if they like the products you sell. Brand awareness is especially important for startups, which need to quickly...
digital marketing
Read More

How Digital Marketing Helps Startups Overcome Growth Challenges

Growing a startup is like running a marathon with random and unpredictable obstacles that pop up all of a sudden. Building your product, securing funding, hiring the right people and attracting high-quality leads are just a fragment of your responsibilities.    So, it takes a lot of work, resources, learning and risk-taking, and yet none of...