Fast moving consumer goods company, Unilever East Africa, has unveiled the new Blue Band spread with Omega 3 and Omega 6 to improve nutrition in Kenya. According to the Ministry of Health, nutrition related illnesses affects more than 25 per cent of children below the age of five years in Kenya.
On top of the seven Vitamins currently included in Blue Band, we have decided to increase the Goodness of Blue Band by including a healthier type of fat, extracted from our own locally grown Kenyan Rape Seed. The healthy fat components sourced from Kenyan Rape seed includes Omega 3 and Omega 6 fats. These are of particular benefit to children by contributing to healthy growth and development of the body.
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Speaking during the launch, Unilever CEO for East Africa, Marc Engel highlighted the company’s commitment to boosting nutrition by helping more than 1 billion people worldwide take action to improve their health and well-being by the year 2020.
“Blue Band, which has been loved for its great taste since the 1950’s, is now the only spread in East Africa with Omega 3 and 6 which are important for the growth and development of children. With these essential nutrients, also known as good fats, Blue Band will now ensure a healthy, nutritious and tasty breakfast when used with bread or uji,” Added Engel. “We are keeping our commitment to the Kenyan people by continuing to deliver better products, for healthier diets and helping grow more great kids.”
World Health Organisation (WHO) recommendations on dietary intake of fats stipulate that for children above 2 years, 25-35% of daily kilocalories should come from good fats. On her part, Dorothy Murugu, Unilever Nutrition Manager for East Africa said;
“In a balanced diet, a child should get up to 10% of daily energy from essential fats i.e. Omega 3 & 6. This is why Blue band has now added the essential fats in its new innovation to ensure that children and families consistently enjoy nutrient rich meals.”
“Food and health experts call Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids “essential fats” as the human body needs them for many functions, from building healthy cells to maintaining brain and nerve function. As the body cannot produce the essential fats, we must get them from foods we eat. By adding Omega 3 and 6 to Blue Band we have ensured that everyone, especially children, are getting the essential nutrients they need for healthy growth and development” echoed Ms. Murugu. The colourful event that was held at the Nairobi Primary School in Nairobi was a great way for the pupils to interact with the brand as well as get information on the benefits of eating the new Blue band spread.
Blue Band no longer a Margarine
The launch of the new spread today marks the rebrand of the original Blue band margarine which is now a spread instead. What this means is that, the new product has less than 80% saturatedy fat ( trans fats) which has been known to raise the body’s cholesterol level putting consumers especially kids at the risk of developing heart disease
Why Omega 3 & 6 ?
These oils in the new Blue band have been extracted from Canona Oil which is in a class of fats often referred to as the ‘Good fats’ . With this new product launch, Unilever is essentially phasing out the margarine and will only have 2 variants of Blue band in the market in future; the existing spread which is cheaper and only recommended as a bread spread and the new Blue band spread with Omega 3 & 6 that can be used on bread as well as for cooking.