Research Brief #12: Market Analysis of Complementary Foods in Nepal

Authors: Richard Magnani; Anahit Gevorgyan; Kathleen Kurz Publisher: Nutrition Innovation Lab

While best programming methods have been identified for many of the essential nutrition actions–e.g., breastfeeding, micronutrient tablet provision–the way forward for improving complementary feeding practices is much less clear, as is agriculture’s contribution. The vast majority of children in Nepal do not receive a minimum acceptable diet, and behavior change for complementary feeding within households has been difficult to achieve at scale. An underestimated constraint on child feeding is that the child’s food preparation takes a lot of mothers’ time, which is often already limited by other responsibilities. The other major constraints are the inadequate nutritive content of the child’s diet and the unhygienic quality of the meals. Underlying these constraints is families’ limited knowledge about the importance of good complementary feeding for children’s growth and development.

The production of commercial products affordable to resource‐poor families who need it most could provide a complementary food option for families – preparation of children’s meals would take less time, and meals would be nutritious and hygienic. Currently in Nepal there is potential demand, but minimal supply of processed, fortified complementary foods (PFCFs) at affordable prices for consumer purchase. The purpose of the market analysis of complementary foods reported here is to investigate the supply and demand factors involved in producing a PFCF in Nepal that will be affordable, nutritious, hygienic, and involve instant or quick preparation, and to make recommendations for increasing production.