KENYA – Premier Foods Limited, Kenyan producer of a wide range of condiments and juices has introduced a new beverage dubbed Recharge Dawa.

The new drink is inspired by homemade ‘dawa’, a herbal beverage made up of honey, lemon and ginger as its key ingredients, that people concoct to treat common flu and boost immunity.

With the launch of the new product, Premier Foods joins the likes of FMCG manufacturer, Tropikal Brands Afrika Limited, who introduced a new functional beverage drink in the market mid this year.

Tropikal’s Super-C is packed with antioxidants aimed to ensure consumers get a healthy dose of Vitamin – C.

Zambia’s Trade Kings also followed the trend as its subsidiary Bigtree Beverages Limited recently introduced Lifeway C-Shot 500, fortified with vitamins B, C & Wellmune.

The product launches are timely as there has been an increase in demand for immunity-boosting functional foods and beverages across the globe following the outbreak of the Coronavirus disease.

A recent study conducted by Irish Food and Ingredients company Kerry revealed that this trend will continue in the future beyond COVID-19.

According to the research, 65 percent of functional beverage consumers are more worried about their health since the start of the pandemic.

Furthermore, when asked about the health concerns that have become more important since the emergence of COVID-19, 59 percent of respondents in the Kerry research cited immunity, while 50 percent said mental health is now a priority.

Speaking at the unveiling, Premier Foods CEO Joseph Choge said the new drink is a part of the company’s efforts in product diversification.

“Market research, customer insights and feedback are the main drivers for product diversification. Through market research, we identify opportunity gaps and develop products to bridge them,” he said.

Mr Choge said the firm has spared Kenyans the trouble and time used to buy the ingredients and make the drink for themselves.

“Recharge Dawa drink contains all the ingredients used by locals; ginger a natural antioxidant, lemon rich in Vitamin C and great for detoxing, and honey a good source of antioxidant.

“Unlike the homemade drink that one has to drink hot, this one is already packaged for you and is readily available in the market,” he added.

Mr Choge noted that dawa has the health benefits of soothing sore throats, flu or colds, and added that the new product is a good example of listening to the market and moving with the times.

The General Manager, Innovations, S. Dharmarajan said the company is also planning to launch a similar drink for children.

Premier Foods produces dozens of products among them sauces, jams, juices, syrups and spreads under the brand names Peptang, Pep and Orchid Valley.

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