Multiple Micronutrient Powders

The Challenge

Each year, malnutrition kills more than 2.5 million children under five years old worldwide and impairs hundreds of thousands more. In particular, micronutrient deficiencies of vitamins and minerals such as iron, iodine, and vitamin A are among the leading causes of mental and physical impairments in children.

Simple and highly effective products — known as micronutrient powders — are available for just pennies a day to address these deficiencies. Despite their low cost, millions of children in need still do not have access to the product.

The Opportunity

Micronutrient powders are available to consumers through the public sector and nonprofit programs, but reach is limited. Partnerships between the public and private sector have the potential to dramatically expand distribution and extend the benefits of micronutrient powders to more people.

Our Work

Results for Development (R4D) and Micronutrient Initiative (MI) investigated barriers on both the demand and supply side that prevent micronutrient powders from reaching all vulnerable children with the ultimate goal of informing an action plan to scale up distribution and access. This work occurred over a 12 month period beginning in June 2012. The results are published in a report, Nutrition for a Better Tomorrow: Scaling up Delivery of Micronutrient Powders for Infants and Young Children.

  • Engaging demand and supply: The project addressed barriers on the demand (country) side and supply side.
  • Strategic demand generation: R4D investigated models for effective demand generation for micronutrient powders, including through development of marketing campaigns.
  • Encouraging supply-side investment: At the manufacturer level, R4D worked closely with leading micronutrient powder suppliers to create awareness of the market potential for this product, including building a business case for increased investments in improved product characteristics, marketing, and distribution.

We are partnering with R4D on a revolutionary approach to scale-up micronutrient powders using private sector channels. By coupling R4D’s world-class market dynamics expertise and MI’s leadership in the nutrition sector, we will seek to ensure all infants receive essential vitamins and minerals they need to survive and thrive.

-Venkatesh Mannar, President, Micronutrient Initiative

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