Are you guided by price, quantity, quality, packaging, brand attachment or the sake of colouring tea with any milk when you buy sachet milk? What factor determines your sachet milk buying decision? Of late, sachet milk products have been utilised as a prominent strategy to “tap the bottom-of-the-pyramid (BoP)” by many companies.
For the FMCG segment, the concept of sachet is a market strategy to target these large BoP consumers without compromising and diluting the value and quality. The sachet innovation is considered “consumer-friendly as it is also about convenience and price that made it a huge success.”
Analysts say “sachet strategy is a way of tailoring the product or service so that even the lower income groups can avail these benefits, which otherwise isn’t possible for them.” Almost every player in the milk category has adopted sachet marketing. In Nigeria, the BoP customers occupy large percentage of the market, as analysts say over 65 percent of the 160 million populace live on one dollar a day.
It is believed that most of the sachet milk brand owners want to offer good milk nutrition but looking at their contents, some were more fortified with necessary vitamins and minerals than others, while some offer lesser grammes with reduced prices. We present the contents of various sachet milk and ask ‘what are you buying?’
What factors therefore guide you as consumer in buying sachet milk, as analysts note that “drinking fortified milk, especially by children, has correlation with full brain development and capability. In other words, the child will become advantageous to society and not a burden, and which will translate to national growth and development.”
From the table, some sachet milk contains high level of energy mineral against the others. Nnamdi Onah, a pharmacist, says energy is required by the body for metabolic processes, physiological functions, muscular activities, heat production, growth and synthesis of new tissues. The amount of energy required varies with age, gender, body size and activity. Energy deficiency leads to poor metabolic processes and general poor physiological functions of the body.
Proteins are part of the building blocks of body tissues and can serve as a source of energy. While proteins are made of amino acids, amino acids are precursors to nucleic acid, co-enzymes, hormones, immune response, tissue repair and other molecules essential for life. Protein deficiency leads to varieties of ailments including mental retardation, kwashiorkor, and poor immunity. Onah says protein is an important ingredient of milk.
Lactose is a source of energy and serves as a sweetener. According to Onah, there is a higher incidence of lactose intolerance in non-white races and infants, as they are poor producers of lactase. Children who are lactose intolerant present with diarrhoea, nausea and vomiting when fed with milk containing lactose. This is why you don’t find lactose in most milk products. There is no issue with the absence of lactose in milk.
Vitamin A plays an important role in cell growth and in immunity. It helps skin develop and stay healthy and promotes the growth of bones and teeth. Vitamin A is also required for good vision. Whole milk contains approximately 62μg of vitamin A per glass (200ml), which provides about 9 percent of an adult’s daily vitamin A requirement.
Vitamin B1 called thiamine generally promotes the metabolism of carbohydrate, fat and protein enabling them release energy. B1 is needed for healthy skin, hair, eyes and liver. They also help the nervous and immune system and brain function properly. Deficiency is rare but occurs with fatigue, irritability, depression, abdominal discomfort and beriberi.
Vitamin B2 (riboflavin)
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) produces energy and acts as an antioxidant by fighting toxic
particles called free radicals in the body. These free radicals damage cells and DNA and contribute to the ageing process as well as development of a number of disease conditions like heart diseases and cancer. Its deficiency is not very common but symptoms include fatigue, slow growth, digestive problem, cracks and sores around the corners of the mouth, swollen tongue, eye fatigue and sore throat.
Vitamin B3 (niacin)
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) converts food into energy and helps the body in making various sex and stress related hormones. It also improves blood circulation. Deficiency is rare but where it occurs, it presents with indigestion, fatigue, canker sore, vomiting and depression. RDA ranges from 2mg for infants to 17mg for adults.
Vitamin B5 (panthotenic acid)
Vitamin B5 plays a role in the breakdown of food to energy and is critical to the manufacture of red blood cells, as well as sex and stress related hormones. Deficiency is rare but symptoms include fatigue, insomnia, depression, irritability, vomiting, stomach pains, burning feet and upper respiratory infections. RDA varies with age ranging from 1.7mg for infants to 7mg for adults.
Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)
Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) helps the body make several neurotransmitters (chemicals that carry signals from one nerve cell to another). It is needed for normal brain development and functions. Deficiency is also rare but occurs with muscle weakness, nervousness, irritability, depression, and mood swing and memory loss.
Vitamin B12 (cynacopolamin) plays a key role in the normal function of the brain and nervous system and for the formation of blood. It’s also involved in DNA synthesis, regulation of fatty acid, and energy production. Excess consumption is safe and non toxic. RDA varies with age ranging from 0.5mg for infants to 2.8mg for adults.
Vitamin K is best known for its role in helping blood clot and bone health.
Its deficiency can lead to excessive bleeding which may begin from the nose or gums. RDA ranges from 2mcg for infants to 90 mcg.
Vitamin C is an essential nutrient required by the body for the development and maintenance of scar tissue, blood vessels, and cartilage.
Milk is a source of calcium, which is essential for the healthy growth and maintenance of teeth and bones and is a vital function in blood clotting and muscle contraction. A 200ml glass of milk can provide a six-year-old child with over half (55%) of his or her calcium requirement.
The primary function of carbohydrates is to provide energy for the body, especially the brain and the nervous system.
The main sources of phosphorus come from milk and milk products. It is the second most abundant mineral in the body and plays a vital role in calcium and protein metabolism. A glass/200ml of milk will provides a child of six years with 55percent of their daily requirement for phosphorus and an adult (19-50 years) with 36 percent.
Magnesium is essential for skeletal development, protein synthesis, muscle contraction and nerve function.
Potassium is mainly present in the fluid of the cells in the body and is important for fluid balance, muscle contraction, nerve conduction as well as for the correct functioning of the heart.