Covid-19 continues to pose a significant challenge for most entrepreneurs. However, for some, it has brought the need to restructure and innovate to create new avenues for revenue generation and customer needs management. This is the case for Sweet ‘n’ Dried Enterprise Ltd, one of the women-led enterprises that in partnership with 2SCALE, is providing affordable nutritious food products to Base of Pyramid (BoP) consumers.
In 2020, Sweet ‘n’ Dried saw an increased demand for their dried African indigenous vegetable products by retail and wholesale customers. More people were exploring the possibility of stocking up dried vegetables because of the uncertainty of how long the lockdowns and curfews would last and how that could affect the supply of food products. This high demand was also driven by the increased need for nutrient-rich products by consumers to build immunity capable of fighting Covid-19 related infections. Mercy Mwende, the Director of Sweet ‘n’ Dried explains:
In 2020, there was a rise in demand for our products from consumers. This was because of the need to boost immunity through the consumption of natural, healthy foods. We saw this as a perfect opportunity to develop a new product and incorporate African indigenous vegetables into porridge flours for vulnerable groups.
Addressing emerging consumer demands
To leverage on increased demand for nutritious foods, Sweet ‘n’ Dried introduced a new product called Cham porridge flour. It is a booster porridge flour comprising of ten products - finger millet, yam, cassava, mango, banana, pumpkin seeds, peanuts, stinging nettle, amaranth, and Moringa leaves powder. Cham porridge flour retails at KSH. 100 per pack of 400gms that can be consumed for at least 3days in an average family of 4. Mercy explains: