UGANDA – Uganda’s leading dairy processor, Pearl Dairy has expanded its milk powder portfolio by launching an infant-grade milk powder, Lato Grow, amid rising consumer interest in health and food quality issues.
Pearl Dairy reported that the infant-grade milk powder is instant and formulated for children between the ages of 3-5 years, fortified with essential nutrients and minerals needed for children’s growth and development.
“Currently, 29% of children in Uganda suffer from stunting due to a high-starch diet, while 50% of children below the age of 5 are anemic. With Lato Grow,” Bijoy Varhese, General Manager of Pearl Dairy Farms Limited said.
He added that the launch of Lato Grow is part of Lato Dairy’s commitment to providing quality dairy products that meet the needs of the local market.
According to Pearl Diary, Lato Grow is made from high-quality milk sourced from local dairy farmers and is fortified with essential nutrients, including calcium, vitamin D, and iron.
The company added that the product has been developed after extensive research and development, with a focus on meeting the nutritional needs of young children.
“We aim to provide a nutritious and convenient solution to this problem,” the company noted as the main goal of the launching of the product.
Research done by BSC public health has indicated that Uganda is among the countries in East Africa with high levels of undernutrition whereby about 29% or 3 in 10 children below 5 years of age are stunted while about 3.5% of all children below 5 years of age in Uganda are faced with body wasting.
The research explains that the situation is due to a lack of enough food intake, not eating enough of the right combination of food, or the body’s failure to utilize the food eaten.
Lato Milk has recently expanded out of the dairy space into the beverage sector by launching two brands of soft drinks, Lato Vitaz and the Lato Gluco Power-B brands.
Lato Vitaz is a juice fortified with essential Zinc nutrients to boost the immune system and promote healthy growth & development in consumers.
The Lato Gluco Power-B is an energized drink that is fortified with Vitamin B, providing its customers with a more potent energy boost to power.
Despite the challenges facing the export market of the country’s powdered milk to Kenya, the Ugandan dairy sector has come up with initiatives to increase local consumption of dairy products.
Recently, Uganda revealed its plans to utilize the Milk ATM technology to increase milk consumption in the country by addressing the issue of product accessibility and affordability.
Pearl Dairy has also urged the dairy chain stakeholders to invest heavily in the sector to realise its full potential and become the largest revenue earner for the country.