ZAMBIA – 260 Brands, a consumer goods manufacturer based in Zambia, has marked its silver jubilee with the launch of the country’s first plant-based milk dubbed Nutramilk.
The new product is made from locally sourced soybean and is processed with UHT technology and aseptically packed to ensure it has a longer shelf life without the need for refrigeration.
Nutramilk powered by Vitamin A, 12, D2, and Calcium comes in plain, chocolate, and strawberry flavors.
260 brands was founded 25 years ago with the purpose of making affordable meat alternatives, pioneering the textured soya protein category in the country under the Golden Goodness brand.
Its other products include powdered/instant drinks, corn soya blend (porridge), as well as snacks – a segment the company has managed to be a top market leader in the country.
The company’s diversification to the dairy alternative category is timely as the segment is gaining momentum in the region.
According to Mordor Intelligence, the dairy alternative market in the Middle East and Africa is projected to grow at a CAGR of 6.76% during the forecast period between 2020-2025, as the majority of the population in the region are lactose intolerant thus turning towards plant-based milk so as to maintain the required nutritional level in the body.
Plant-based milk has also found liking among consumers conforming to vegan and flexitarian diets, seeking dairy alternatives, as interest in health, sustainability, environmental protection, and ethics continue to bulge across the World.
Other than the pursuit of health and wellness by consumers, plant-based milk is set for growth as the majority of raw materials used in production are widely available in the region.
For instance, soybean production in the Southern African country is expected to rise by 15.6% in the 2021/2022 season to 475,353 tonnes from the previous corresponding period’s 411,115 tonnes.
The increase is attributed to the expansion of the area under cultivation by about 29.6%.
The launch of the new product comes exactly a year after the company received a US$4m senior loan facility from AATIF to enable it to maximize output from its recently installed processing plant.
The financing was to be channeled towards the purchase of raw materials from local smallholder farmers in the country.
In partnership with local NGOs, 260 Brands has been able to engage with a group of 1,008 farmers, supporting them with agricultural training, access to inputs, transport, and most importantly a stable off-take market.