Norfund is backing an agro-processing business based in Zambia that manufactures, markets, and distributes maize and soy-based consumer products. The Norwegian development finance institution is investing $5 million into 260 Brands which will use the funding to finance a turnkey soymilk production facility to meet expected demand for the product. Adding soymilk to its product lineup allows 260 Brands to leverage its existing business and its access to soybeans to quickly grow its share of the potentially lucrative market.
Once the facility is up and running, it’s expected to have an annual production capacity of 9.6 million liters of soymilk. Currently, Zambia’s milk alternative market is small and only served by imported products. The price of imported soy milk is anywhere between 30% to 60% more expensive than dairy milk, a factor 260 wants to disrupt by pricing its soy milk products at or close to the current market price for dairy milk. The upside for the alternative milk market could be considerable. Most of the population in the region are lactose intolerant, making reasonably priced soymilk an attractive alternative.
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