Powerful messages — and provocations — were offered by Jean-Christophe Flatin, President of Innovation, Science, Technology & Mars Edge, and others at the 2019 Responsible Business Forum’s “Economics of Mutuality: Putting Purpose into Practice.”
Today we live in a world where more than half the population faces some form of nutritional deficiency. At Mars, we want the world tomorrow to be one where people - especially children - don’t experience nutritional gaps. Our new business segment, Mars Edge, is set up to use the latest science, technology and data, and form innovative partnerships to help find solutions to complex issues like this.
We’re thrilled to introduce our new product - GoMo™ Dal Crunchies, which just launched in India. GoMo™ is nutritious and specially designed to give school-aged children in India protein and important micronutrients in delicious flavors they enjoy at an affordable price point.
It is made mainly from yellow pea and provides 6 grams of protein per 35 gram serving and between 15% and 100% of the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of key micronutrients, including iron, vitamin A, vitamin B12, vitamin C, and vitamin D. As a legume-based product, GoMo™ also provides significant amounts of lysine, the limiting amino acid in the Indian diet. GoMo™ is a registered health supplement. The chili lemon pepper, green chutney and masala mix flavors, tailored to suite local taste, ensure that GoMo™ is enjoyable as well as nutritious. Finally, GoMo™ is currently offered at two price points (20 rupees and 10 rupees) that we believe will help bring nutrition within the reach of more people.
A Feat of Collaboration & Innovation
Bringing GoMo™ to fruition took extensive collaboration and an innovative approach to doing business, including in product development and distribution.
It started as an idea of a visionary team in our innovation group and was brought to life thanks to the shared vision between Mars and the Tata Trusts, one of India’s most prominent philanthropic organizations. The Tata Trusts brought knowledge of nutrition in India, understanding of local communities and their needs, and a distribution network.
Key to GoMo™’s development was following an evidence-based approach. We worked with nutrition experts, including St. John’s Research Institute in Bangalore and the University of California, Davis to help design the specification of GoMo™ to address key nutrition gaps in India.
We also wanted to ensure that GoMo™ is available where it is needed most in India: in hard-to-reach villages in rural areas. It took an innovative approach to distribution to make that happen. We are working with ‘last mile entrepreneurs’, including women self-help groups, to sell GoMo™ door-to-door and at small rural shops in remote villages. We have already started sales in two states – Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra – which together cover about a third of malnourished children in India. We believe this innovative approach to product development and distribution will allow us to provide nutrition that is delightful, evidence-based and more accessible to consumers who need it.
A Step Forward
We know that we won’t solve the global health challenge with this single effort, but it’s a small step forward. We also know that we are on a journey, in many ways we are doing something new and we will need to keep learning from our efforts. Our Mars Edge Associates are excited about the difference we might be able to make in India and eager to see the impact of this work in helping achieve better lives through nutrition.
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Today we live in a world where more than half the population faces some form of nutritional deficiency. At Mars, we want the world tomorrow to be one where people - especially children - don’t experience nutritional gaps. Our new business segment, Mars Edge, is set up to use the latest science, tech