Business: Blue Band Has Expanded Its Portfolio With Three New Exciting Healthy Products
When I think of Blue Band, the first thing that comes to my mind is the advert that goes “B without B.B is like a train without an engine.” As kids, we loved this advert and even acted it out in the estate. We had rehearsals and planned out every move to make it look like the original advert. It was the period when the street lights came on and you knew it was time to go home. On this particular day though, we were so engrossed in our little act and had completely ignored the fact that it was home time. Our dad drove into the compound and found us acting it out with our friends, and he was so fascinated that he forgot we were out past the curfew.
For the longest time, Blue Band margarine spread has been the only product in its portfolio. The last I can remember of an alternative to the spread was the Blue Band choco which lasted a few months in the market and was soon withdrawn. However, big changes have recently been made when products such as Blue Band peanut butter, Blue Band mayonnaise and cold-pressed Blue Band Canola oil were launched.
Blue Band was originally owned by Unilever which owns more than 400 brands including 11 “billion-dollar brands.” Blue Band has been a trusted Kenyan brand for the last 65 years. In 2017, however, The Dutch-British consumer products giant said that it was selling off its underperforming margarine division. “After a long history in Unilever, we have decided that the future of the spreads business now lies outside the group,” chief executive Paul Polman said in a statement published on Business Daily.
Upfields is the company that took up Blue Band, and it is the largest plant-based company in the world and the number one producer of plant-based spreads globally. The company has been in existence since 1871 and aims to make people healthier and happier with nutritious and delicious, natural, plant-based products that are good for you, our planet; and with packaging that’s free from plastic. It currently operates in 95 countries. Upfields sells multiple brands of margarine and other food spreads, including Flora, Stork, Becel, Country Crock and I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter!
The products launched by Upfield’s include Blue Band Peanut Butter, which is plant-based peanut butter that is highly nutritious and delivers a rich nutty taste because it is made from 100% natural peanuts. It provides Omega 6 and is free from preservatives, colourants and other additives.
Blue Band Mayonnaise, the second product launched, is a premium condiment made with natural ingredients and a rich source of Omega 3 & 6, guaranteeing you long-lasting freshness and natural taste to your meals.
Lastly, Blue Band Cold Pressed Canola oil, is an edible oil made from 100% canola seeds making it a rich source of Omega 3, 6 & 9, vitamin E and fortified with vitamin A. It is possibly one of the healthiest and most versatile oils you will come across, it is cholesterol-free, non-GMO and suitable for vegetarians.
Upfields has heavily invested in purchasing ingredients locally. It currently purchases over 2000 tonnes of rapeseed for its Blue Band Cold Press Canola oil from 3,400 Upfield accredited small scale farmers in Mt Kenya Region. This number is expected to increase to over 7000 farmers in the coming years as demand for Canola oil drives increased production.
The company recognizes that different markets require different sizes of the product, and therefore the prices and quantities cater for these different sizes. Blue Band Peanut Butter 800g at Ksh 650, 400g at Ksh 350, 200g at Ksh 180; Blue Band Real Mayonnaise 532ml at Ksh 500; Blue Band Cold Pressed Canola oil 1 litre at Ksh 380.
Of all the markets where Upfield operates, Kenya is the first country to expand Blue Band into new categories. All the new innovations are expected to roll out across Africa, Middle East & Asia as well as other global markets like South America in the coming months.