Nestlé has launched an island-wide campaign, ‘Towards an Iron-Clad Nation’, to create awareness amongst families about the importance of iron in the diet. It will support the government’s strategy for preventing and controlling micronutrient deficiencies in Sri Lanka.
The campaign will educate people about how to receive enough iron on a daily basis from food; highlighting iron-rich food and iron-fortified food, and also food and drink that can help your body absorb iron more easily. The campaign will be supported by educational videos, articles and quizzes, and also quick and easy recipes for cooking iron-enriched meals, hosted on Nestlé Lanka’s website and social media channels. A 24/7 dedicated hotline 0114 724 724 and a ‘chatbot’ Nestlé Lanka’s corporate Facebook page, will enable people who call or inbox the page to have real-time conversations and ask questions about iron in their diet. The campaign also includes on-ground educational activities in towns and villages where iron-deficiency is high, via ‘Nutri-Corners’. These Nutri-Corners will provide information on iron and one-on-one nutritional counselling on-site. Where possible, the Nutri-Corners will also provide testing by medical experts for iron-levels in the body.
Over the last few years, Nestlé has been fortifying some of its products with iron, to address the needs of different age segments of the population. Its iron-enriched products include Milo powder, Nespray Everyday, Nespray 1+, Nangrow, Lactogrow, Ceregrow and Maggi Rasa Musu.
Said Shivani Hegde, Nestlé Managing Director: “Since our foundation, Nestlé has been committed to helping consumers make healthier choices for themselves and their families. Iron is an essential micronutrient for everyone but holds a special importance for children. It is vital for their growth and development. In addition to enriching our products with iron, we want to educate parents and caregivers on the benefits of iron and how it can be consumed easily through everyday food. We believe this iron awareness campaign is the first of its scale to be implemented in the country. From healthier products that support the nutritional needs of our consumers, to educational programmes and services that are helping to influence better diets and lifestyles; we are strengthening our positive impact as a company, by enhancing quality of life and contributing to a healthier future.”
In 2017, Nestlé provided 405 million servings of food and beverages enriched with micronutrients like iron, vitamin A, zinc and calcium, which are often lacking in local diets. This included over 250 million servings of iron-enriched products.
The ‘Towards an Iron-Clad Nation’ campaign is part of the company’s global ‘Nestlé for Healthier Kids' initiative, which aims at helping 50 million children lead healthier lives by 2030, by offering nutritious products and advice for families on nutrition and exercise.