Hershey India, a part of The Hershey Company, a leading global snacking giant and the largest producer of quality chocolates in North America, has developed Sofit Plus, a plant protein-fortified drink exclusively for its `Nourishing Minds’ social initiative.
Designed to meet the nutritional needs of underprivileged kids, the drink was developed by Hershey India in collaboration with IIT-Bombay, Sion Hospital and the NGO Annamrita.
The product is a result of an in-depth research conducted by IIT – Bombay amongst a group of underprivileged children (within the age group of 6-18 years) from suburban slums in Mumbai.
The research revealed startling data such as 30% of the kids are below normal BMI of which 18% are thin, 11% are severely thin and 0.9% are underweight.
It further indicated major deficiencies in the intake of carbohydrates, fats and proteins amongst children. Calcium, Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Vitamin B12, Zinc and Iron deficiencies were also highlighted through dietary recall and analysis.
As part of the initiative, the study focused on three main areas: a) to provide evidence of the role of nutrient supplementation in overcoming undernourishment; b) to determine the efficacy of the plant protein drink Sofit Plus and c) to understand its impact on the overall growth.
Commenting about the initiative, Herjit Bhalla, Vice President India and AEMEA at The Hershey Company said, “The Hershey Company globally has a legacy of driving positive change through initiatives that benefit society. Keeping up with the tradition, we have developed Sofit Plus, a soy plant protein fortified drink, as a part of our initiative ‘Nourishing Minds'in partnership with Annamrita, Sion Hospital and IIT-Bombay. Designed to help meet the nutritional needs of underprivileged kids in India, this product is backed by rigorous research and development, to help address the low nutrition levels amongst the designated group of children and help contribute towards building a healthier future for them.”