A significant challenge in introducing a new food product to market is the behavior change that may need to occur within that community. In Rwanda, the standard bread products on the market are sugary white bread, fried dough (amandazi), and fried flat bread (chapati). TWB aims to bring more healthful food options into local communities. The problem is… our products are very different! While individuals are used to the ingredients, like bananas and peanut flour, most of the population is not used to the ingredients mixed together and baked into one bread as they are in TWB’s nutritious recipes.
Since March, the women’s group trained and baking in Kigali have been fulfilling a bi-weekly bread order for a girls’ club hosted by CHABHA (http://www.chabha.org/). They started by providing banana bread, then carrot muffins, then soy-yeast rolls. At first, the women were told the teenage girls did not like the taste of banana bread. So, the women adjusted to the demand and continued to provide just carrot and yeast breads. Last week, the group decided to try another round of banana bread to see if the girls had changed their minds. And they did! We heard reports from the CHABHA team that they really like it and wanted to integrate this type of bread back into their order. What we are continually learning, and what the women bakers are also learning, is that it takes time and education to introduce a new product to the market. Behavior change truly does take time. Slowly, we can improve daily nutrition choices, helping individuals to make a dietary change from fried dough to a protein rich banana and peanut bread!