Upfield’s Blue Band launches new porridge range in Kenya

Upfield has launched Blue Band instant porridge in Kenya, reinforcing its move into the breakfast occasion and the continued push into the plant-based health space. Upfield, which was spun out from Unilever in 2018, is increasingly seeking to position itself in the breakfast space.

Blue Band is best known for its margarine although Upfield, which also owns the Flora and Becel brands, is keen to extend the Blue Band brand into adjacent areas. The new porridge is targeted at mothers feeding the kids for breakfast and is fortified with vitamins and minerals. It comes in a 1kg pack and can be made in two minutes. Packaging features a red label with the tagline “Immune Plus +”.

The new porridge is suitable for weaning children aged from 6 months upwards. It forms part of Blue Band’s wider “Good Breakfast Mission” marketing campaign, designed to position the brand as a key part of a nutritious breakfast. Previously, Blue Band had publicized putting its margarine and peanut butter on the commonly eaten “wimbi” porridge (porridge made from millet). Porridge is a popular breakfast staple in Kenya, increasingly so given the rise in use of gas stoves (more convenient) and the prevalence of relatively cheap milk from both Ugandan and Kenyan dairies.

Upfield owns brands including Flora, Blue Band, Stork, Becel, Country Crock, Minyak Samin Cap Onta, Violife, and I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter!. Based in the Netherlands, it reportedly operates in more than 95 countries. Kenya, where the brand has been present since the 1950s is one of its key markets in Africa. Blue Band margarine is made locally at its factory in Nairobi.

In February 2020, Upfield launched Blue Band Peanut Butter, Blue Band Real Mayonnaise and Blue Band Cold Pressed Canola oil in Kenya, a move designed to reduce dependence on margarine and offer opportunities in adjacent product categories. At the time, East & Southern Africa Managing Director Peter Muchiri said the company had “observed that our customers want a variety in the spreads. That has seen the introduction of our new products.”