Malin Program

Malin Program: Support good nutrition for poor babies in France

Nantes / Grenoble / Nancy / Villefranche-sur-Saone, France
Project Stage:
$250,000 - $500,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Malin Program is a complete box of tools for families and professionals that empower them to deal with the complexity of baby nutrition especially in difficult socioeconomic situation. It provides the "must know" and "the must have" to them. Families are more able to improve their dietary habits and professionals more able to help them.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Early eating patterns and habits impact on later eating habits, obesity and overweight risks. Disavantaged families may be at higher risk for inadequate habits for two main reasons: budget because baby food is pretty expensive and lack of nutritional knowledge, adapted to thier socioeconomic conditions. These two main reasons may lead to weak breastfeeding rate or premature introduction of adult food (cow milk, junk food, sugar & protein excess). Or, it is estimated that 110 000 children are born under the poverty line each year in France.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

Our program is based on two pillars : 1) Nutritionnal & behaviour education via local organizations and Internet. Families benefit from many tools: advices adapted to their socioeconomic conditions (baby nutrition guides, trained professionals), list of local practical sessions (e.g cooking groups) and many tricks to easily improve eating patterns and habits (recipes, menus...). 2) Adapted products price reductions (vouchers / 35 % off on specific milk and babyfood ) and good deal for cheaper access to vegetables. We are actually launching a new web site dedicated to baby nutrition with recipes, videos and chats but also specific section of mum empowerment that allows them exchange and communicate.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

Think about Nelly, one 4 year son and one 6 month daughter. Just divorced, she doesn't see herself as poor, does not benefit from public aids or food aid; but she is suffering from budget difficulties. She is not breastfeeding her daughter anymore and thinks about giving her cow milk because baby milk is too expensive. As she is a bit worried, she goes to see her pediatrician. He kind of judged her and her feeding habits and now she is totally lost. One of her friends told her about Malin, now she has vouchers and she can go and see professionals that consider her situation and adapt their advices, thanks to our training and tools. She also has our website and other mothers to talk with. Confident as a mum, she even met a new man!

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

The objective 1 is to deploy Malin other 4 to 6 departments each year. To do so, Malin uses common communication tools to directly propose the program to families. It's innovative in social aids to send email, letters, to use social media or radio and newspapers; and to permit subscription on a website. The objective 2 is to be integrated in the regional health & social public policy as an efficient way to improve nutrition & eating behaviour. The objective 3 is to balance our economical model

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

This problem is currently not adressed in France, that is why pediatrician and public health authorities support it


One project leader (Red Cross) : manage the team & the stakeholders Strong involvment of Danone & Red Cross top management to mobilize ressources & strategical support The former minister, (now Public hospitals in Paris area boss) link us with public services & connect right people. Full support of 2 major Pediatrician Key Opinion Leaders who link us with local hospitals& health services and helped us designing the impact study Governance : one direction comittee (once / trimester) to decide and set the strategic choices; one local comittee gathering local authorities for each pilot Co-construction: we constantly elaborate and improve the Program with partners and families. Every tool is tested, many groups are created to exchange with them and let them express. We also collaborate with local public services (health or social) to identify and get in touch with target families
About the Lead Co-Creation Partners
Blédina - (Danone Group)
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Organization Name

Blédina - (Danone Group)

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General Manager Blédina



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Basic Info
Project Starting Year


Primary European Country where this Project is creating social impact

, Nantes / Grenoble / Nancy / Villefranche-sur-Saone

Additional European countries where this Project is creating social impact
Select the category that best fits the type of your project:

New products & services: Entries in this category develop and offer essentials product and services that address needs currently unmet, Other: If you feel that your entry does not fit any of the above categories, please suggest another category name..

What awards or honors has the project received?

European "Prix Convergences" nomination in 2013

Project Summary
Co-Creation Model: Tell us about your main strategic partners and how the partnership truly create value. For each Partner please include its type (business/social/public), its name, a short description, its key motivation to participate in the co-creation project, and the key contributions it is making in the co-creation project. Please follow the format displayed below:

Red Cross
-Type of partner : NGO
-Short description sentence [Max 25 words/partner]
-Key motivation to participate in the co-creation project : social innovation / co foundation with public administration and private sector
-Key contributions in the co-creation project [Max 35 words/partner]

-Partner 2 : Bledina (Danone Group)
-Type of partners : private firm
-Short description sentence : French leader in Baby food industry
-Key motivation to participate in the co-creation project : learn to adapt communication to a specific target / pediatric KOL management / internal communication
-Key contributions in the co-creation project : mother target marketing knowledge / nutritional content and know how

Partner 3 : Pediatrician associations
Short description sentence : Non profit groups of French pediatrician
-Key motivation to participate in the co-creation project : Adress specific issues (nutrition within poor population) which are poorly adressed
-Key contributions in the co-creation project : Medical knowledge / endorsment

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact. Please specify using qualitative and quantitative data (e.g. # of indirect and direct beneficiaries); help us understand how this solution truly makes a difference.

Current numbers:
- 2000 babies registered in 4 pilots since 2012
- 150 local organizations partnering with MALIN (proposing Malin to families, giving advices, tools...)

A clinical study, starting in 2014, will measure the impact of MALIN on nutritional status of infants: vegetables consumption, breastfeeding, consumption habits, weight,...800 pregnant women will be recruited and followed until the 2nd year oh their baby, half will benefit from Malin, half won't.

Projected future impact :
Help 50% of the 110000 babies born under the poverty line each year by 2020
Increase Breasfeeding of 10 points
Increase fruits & veg consumption by 20 %
Increase consumption of adapted milk (follow on milk and growing up milk) vs cow milk
Educate the parents to 4 meals a day vs snaking and finger foods habits

Funding: How is your project financial supported? [select all that apply]

Foundations, NGOs, Businesses.

Sustainability Plan: Has your project already reached financial sustainability? If not, what is this solutio’s plan to ensure financial sustainability? Do the main partners have enough stake to sustain the solution? If this project requires limited budget, how will other resources be secured to maintain or grow this work?

Currently our project is not yet really financially balanced because the fixed costs (wages, communications costs) are not covered. It it a size effect that we will solve particularly by extending geographically the program.
Plans to ensure sustainability :
1) measure efficiency to get regional / national governments helps
2) Sell our trainings program / tools to social & healths organizations
3) Scale effects : decrease the ratio fixed costs / baby involved
4) Develop dematerialized tools to decraease costs (videos, internet platform) to 20 more places

Founding Story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that led the Partners to get started and/or to see the potential for this to succeed.

the birth of Malin is linked to 3 stories.
- A former French Ministry, Martin Hirsch persuaded that babyfood is expensive, concerned by the doble penalty for the haves not in France and because many social aids are underused.
- the President of the French Red Cross facing a crisis with its food aid (less budget, more and more beneficiaries) especially in babyfood, he wanted to modernize it and to co build solutions with firms for more sustainability
- Danone and Bledina,French babyfood leader, struggling against poverty in developping countries and used to social responsibility programs. They were aiming at acting in France.
In 2009, an unmet need was existing. The partner agreed quite quickly on one thing: they must gather other partners( public organizations, peadiatricians and firms). Secondly they agreed on the need for experimentation and impact evaluation.

About the Co-Creation
Barriers: What main barriers may you have encountered to co-create during the creation and implementation of the project and how did you try to overcome them?

Between the different partners time & shared 'dream' 've enabled mutual trust quite easily. The team is the same since the beginning and the human fit + clear objectives ensure good partnership
The main barrier : bad and a bit 'ideological' perception of local partners of the partnership with a private firm as Blédina / Danone that trully complicate the collaboration. Sometimes, we need to be very persuasive.
Otherwise, we did not faced specific barriers between national partners despite the lack of time for the board!

Governance: What is the type of the relationship between the partners? (e.g. joint venture, contractual relationship, joint project...)

National partners signed a memorandum of understanding in 2010 to agree on principles: experimentation, sustainabilty, opened partnership, non stigmatization and following the Public health framework. Since then, all the partners gather every quarter for the Board.
French Red Cross and Bledina signed a specific contract to deal with the vouchers system.

Interaction model: How is the project a transformative partnership? How is the interaction transforming the partnering organizations and their employees/ leadership in terms of creating a new vision, new management practices, new skills and new organizational structures? Please provide for concrete examples

French Red Cross, Malin is an innovative program that provides many data, experiences and modernization ideas. We inspired other projects: the way we deal with a firm as Danone is innovative as it's really not a philantropic partnership, the way we target our families (no specific criteria, use of communication tools) and above all the way we co-build with many local partners and not only Red cross ones.
Bledina: strategical project for the company with 1 or 2 full timer dedicated to it since the
CSR program reinforcing the company mission : along side with all the babies' parents with providing appropriate food
Internal & stakeholders goodwill (pediatricians, journalists, authorities...)

Pediatricians & local professionals involved : we manage to make them understand how a public-private partnership can be positive, helpful and impactful; to make them change their mind.

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