The morning of May 6, 2013, was devoted to the official launch by Nestlé Senegal of its first fortified bouillon, MAGGI Iron, under the auspices of the Minister of Commerce, Industry and Informal Sector, Alioune Sarr.
The event, which was held at Route de Rufisque, attracted the Prime Minister of Senegal, His Excellency Abdul Mbaye and diplomats from the Swiss Embassy, members of the Senegalese Micronutrient Fortification of Foods Committee, consumer associations, and media representations, among others.
In his opening remarks, Denis Bouquay, Country Manager for the Western Cluster, re-echoed the essence of fortifying MAGGI with micronutrients such as iron in order to overcome a growing incidence of micronutrients-related deficiencies.
Medical experts believe that micronutrients deficiencies could have devastating effect on health.
"There are lots of studies that confirm that malnutrition due to the lack or absence of micronutrients is a public health issue in Africa and it affects people of all ages, regardless of their socio-economic status", Denis exemplified.
It is in this connection, Denis pointed out, that the Nestlé Group seeks "suitable vehicles in overcoming the dearth of micronutrient deficiencies in the Central and West Africa Region and found that MAGGI bouillon being sold throughout sub-continent and reaching about 200+ million people is a good medium in redressing that health challenge".
Director of the Senegalese Food Fortification Committee for Micronutrients, Ibrahima Bass, supports the approach Nestlé has adopted in resolving the deficiency adding "I am doubly pleased to participate in the baptism of this iron fortified MAGGI tablet”.
He added: “This event is important for a lot of our people, especially those who suffer from micronutrient deficiencies, that is children under five years and women of childbearing age. This is another proof of the culture of innovation and responsibility that Nestlé is known for”.
In his speech, Philippe Beguin, First Consular Officer at the Swiss Embassy in Senegal welcomed the launch, which, he says was in line with the Nestlé Group’s culture of paying particular attention to the health of consumers, which makes it more than a food production company.
Minister of Commerce, Alioune Sarr, hailed the event as historic as it was the first since the creation of COSFAM, a national body tasked with addressing micronutrients in deficiencies in Senegal. The Minister declares Nestlé Senegal as a very attentive partner of the people.
"... There is no need to dwell too much on the relevance of the micronutrient initiative that Nestlé Senegal is introducing on the market as it is simply the realization of a commitment translated through the creation of COSFAM ".
The Minister then launched the first walled container and cut the cake to mark the formal launch of the product, which would be followed with ‘commando’ operations in the Castor, Gueule tapée and Rufisque markets.
The launch will be climaxed with a concert at the Grand Theatre of Dakar on Wednesday, May 8 with notable Senegalese artistes Pape Diouf, Fatou Gueweul, Pope Thiopet and Ndiolé performing to an estimated 1,500 guests.