Pwani Oil lowers cooking oil, soap prices to help stop virus spread

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Manufacturer Pwani Oil has reduced the prices of some of its edible oil and soap products so as to encourage consumers to take protective measures against the Coronavirus disease.  

The company has announced a 5 per cent reduction in the price of its Fresh Fri Garlic brand of cooking oil which it says has a carrier of zinc because it has garlic oil and has been fortified with Vitamins A and D – all critical nutrients in boosting human immunity and fighting viral infections. For example, allicin, an ingredient in zinc, is known to have disease-fighting properties. Pwani Oil has positioned its products to target the health conscious consumer.

It is perhaps the first company in Kenya to lower the prices of its products at a time when the prices of many consumable goods are rising due to high demand as consumers brace for tougher times ahead.  

Pwani Oil has also lowered the prices of its soap products Diva, Sawa and Detrex to encourage regular washing of hands among Kenyans. The firm also plans to roll out hand wash kits in public places to boost the ongoing public health campaign to promote personal hygiene especially regular washing of hands. Pwani Oil will avail 150 hand washing kits in major towns including Mombasa, Nairobi, Kisumu, Nakuru and Nyeri. 

Personal hygiene has been cited as an effective weapon against the spread of the virus which has so far infected 169,000 people and killed 6,000 worldwide.

“As a business that cares for the well-being of our consumers, we are alive to the serious health challenge posed by the spread of the Coronavirus globally. Our decision to lower prices on some of our products is informed by the need to encourage consumers to embrace preventive measures against the disease including healthy nutrient intake and personal hygiene,” said Rajul Malde, Pwani Oil Commercial Director.

He added that personal hygiene should include washing hands with soap for a minimum 30 times a day for twenty seconds each time. “We must all work together to turn the tide against the Coronavirus pandemic by embracing simple but effective preventive measures. Our products fit very well with the health needs of our consumers, hence our decision to make them more affordable especially at this critical time.”

The move by Pwani Oil comes in the wake of sharp demand for essential consumer goods with prices also going up soon after the government reported the first case of Coronavirus in Kenya on March 13.  

This saw the Competition Authority of Kenya issue a stern warning to product manufacturers and retailers against hiking the prices of goods in response to panic buying in supermarkets and other outlets.  

Pwani Oil is one of the largest manufacturers of edible oils, soap and detergent products in the East and Central African region.