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Consumer Body Trashes Peptang’s Re-Charge Dawa Drink For Flu As Big Deception

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Peptang maker Premier Foods, inspired by homemade ‘dawa‘, a herbal drink Kenyans enjoy to treat common flu, has introduced a new beverage, eyeing the market also served by restaurants.

The firm launched its latest product dubbed Recharge Dawa that will be on sale in supermarkets.

Dawa, which means medicine in Kiswahili, is made up of honey, lemon and ginger as its key ingredients.

“Recharge Dawa drink contains all the ingredients used by locals; ginger a natural antioxidant, lemon rich in Vitamin C and great for detoxing, and honey a good source of antioxidant,” Premier Foods CEO Joseph Choge said.

“Unlike the homemade drink that one has to drink hot, this one is already packaged for you and is readily available in the market,” he added.

Mr Choge noted that dawa has the health benefits of soothing sore throats, flu or colds, and added that the new product is a good example of listening to the market and moving with the times.

However, the Consumers Federation of Kenya (Cofek) has trashed the drink and advertisement as deceptive.

“The ‘medicine’ has not be certified as such by the Pharmacy and Poisons Board. Therefore, the use of the name ‘dawa’ (Swahili for medicine) is fatally misleading. It must be dropped. Even if it were to be certified, the minimum ingredients threshold must be specified and met.” Cofek said.

The popular ‘dawa’ that contains lemon, ginger and honey is served hot at restaurants, hotels and even bars – on request.

Normally, the lemon, ginger and honey are natural and not processed.

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The popular ‘dawa’ drink retails between an average Sh100 to Sh1,000 per glass in high-end hotels.

Served cold, the ‘dawa’ does not serve it purpose at all. It is also not clear whether the deceptive marketing brand Recharge Dawa to be sold in supermarkets requires a consumer to boil before use.

The body is now asking authorities not to allow the drink to be on the shelves without doing the due diligence for the protection of consumers who’d fall for the ‘deception’

“In the likely event that the new Recharge Dawa was boiled before packaging, it has a high risk of being carcinogenic (cancer-causing) since it is stored in plastic bottles whose internal walls melt and dissolve in the drink if packed hot. Cofek hopes that the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) will conduct due diligence before allowing the drink to be on retail shelves. While we support Premier Foods efforts in product diversification, its management must be brought to speed with provisions of Article 46 of the Constitution and the Consumer Protection Act, 2012 as regards deceptive advertising.” Cofek said.


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