SUBSCRIBE

Breaking News on Supplements, Health & Nutrition - North America EU edition | APAC edition

News > Suppliers

Read more breaking news

 

 
Mark Crowell, principal culinologist, CuliNex

What makes a successful functional food product?

10-May-2011
Last updated on 10-May-2011 at 16:48 GMT2011-05-10T16:48:56Z

What makes a successful functional food product?
What makes a successful functional food product?
Loading the player...

Why do so many ‘functional’ foods fail? Sometimes, it’s just bad luck or bad timing, but in most cases, manufacturers only have themselves to blame, product development guru Mark Crowell tells Elaine Watson at SupplySide East.

Here is a selection of Mark’s top tips for functional food success:

START WITH WHAT SHOPPERS KNOW:You don’t have to go mad with wildly exotic new ingredients. Use something consumers have heard of: oats, wholegrains, fibers, antioxidants, omega-3s, superfruits. If you use a more unusual ingredient such as sea buckthorn, keep the base product fairly mainstream.”

FOCUS ON HEALTHY SNACKING: “The most successful functional foods tend to be for snacking between meals. Avoid main meals and indulgent occasions such as ice cream unless you can really make an impact.”

CLAIMS... LESS IS MORE:Don’t just slap everything on the pack because you can. Not all claims you could make about an ingredient may be relevant for your product.”

INGREDIENTS... KEEP IT SIMPLE: “I think we’ll see more functional food products with single ingredients instead of ones with where manufacturers have thrown in the kitchen sink.”

FIND THE SWEETSPOT: “There are inherently functional foods such as milk and bread; enhanced functional foods such as fortified juices and yogurts; and then’ scientifically’ functional foods that can seem at odds with natural, organic and local trends. The biggest opportunity is in the middle category unless you have very strong data to support claims and a very convincing marketing strategy.”

BEWARE THE ULTRA NICHE: “A shot to calm people before they get on an airplane. It’s a unique product, but it’s also a very niche market. Is it really worth the time and energy?”

CHOOSE THE RIGHT BASE PRODUCT:The base food should be inherently or relatively healthy, and the functional ingredient (s) should be connected to the base. If there is no connection, you might want to look again, or establish one. Take breakfast orange + calcium. This works because of the association between breakfast, milk and calcium. Fiber-rich chips also work because they seem reasonable. Chips are made out of grains, so why not make them out of wholegrains? It makes sense.”

SPEND TIME ON SHELF-LIFE TESTING:All bets are off when you add functional ingredients. Many can have bitter astringent flavors, go rancid or cause undesirable color changes. Vitamin B can cause sulfur notes and vitamin A can break down in the presence of trace minerals. I’ve seen lots of firms get into trouble because they haven’t done proper shelf-life testing and six to eight months after their product is on shelf, there’s a problem.”

Mark Crowell founded CuliNex in 2005 after seven years as director of food product development at Starbucks. Prior to that he headed up product development at Olive Garden, ran an award-winning Mediterranean restaurant in Washington DC and led product development for the Host division of Marriott Corporation.

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: A closer look at protein’s rise to popularity and where it is headed

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: A closer look at protein’s rise to popularity and where it is headed

Americans’ love affair with protein shows no signs of cooling in the coming years...

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: Separating fact from fiction with probiotics

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: Separating fact from fiction when formulating with probiotics

Once restricted to a handful of products, such as yogurt, probiotics are enjoying unprecedented...

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: 5 trends driving growth in natural & organic

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: 5 trends driving growth in natural & organic

As US consumers embrace a healthier lifestyle focused on prevention rather than treatment, they...

Overcoming the taboo of vaginal health – the next frontier of probiotics

Overcoming the taboo of vaginal health – the next frontier of probiotics

A paradigm shift is needed to force delicate women’s health issues like vaginal infections...

Lab meat, plant proteins and insects: Which alternative proteins will feed the world?

Lab meat, plant proteins and insects: Which alternative proteins will feed the world?

The quest for alternatives to animal-derived proteins has led to a huge amount of...

African probiotic project reaching 10,000 infants a day

African probiotic project reaching 10,000 infants a day

Professor Gregor Reid

Chair , University of Western Ontario & Human Microbiology and...

UK researcher backs supplements for omega-3 intakes

UK researcher backs supplements for boosting omega-3 intakes

Philip Calder

Professor, University of Southamption

‘You think Red Bull’s just gonna roll over? It’s not gonna happen!’

‘You think Red Bull’s just gonna roll over? It’s not gonna happen!’ Expert warns wannabes

Beverage brand development guru James Tonkin has warned wannabe entrepreneurs that going up against...

Coffee may hydrate athletes just like water: Researcher

Coffee may hydrate athletes just like water: Researcher

Sophie Killer

Doctoral researcher, Loughborough University

Caffeine in small doses and during training may boost performance

Caffeine taken during training and even in small doses may boost sports performance: Researcher

Sophie Killer

Doctoral researcher in exercise metabolism and performance nutrition

Nutraceutical innovation around boosting or reducing nitric oxide

Nutraceutical innovation around boosting or reducing nitric oxide

Industry interest in boosting nitric oxide, a potent vasodilator, has been increasing, with companies...

Prebiotic ingredient derives big gut health benefit from small dose

AIDP says prebiotic ingredient derives big gut health benefit from small dose

AIDP is emphasizing the prebiotic potential of its PreticX xylooligosaccharide. The small dosage provides...

Demystify testing for new technology & new players

New technology and new players push labs to demystify testing: Alkemist Labs CEO

Keeping up to date with technological advances, understanding which testing methods are suitable for...

Navigating the regulations around supplements for pets

Navigating the regulations around supplements for pets

While many ingredients and trends for animal supplements are the similar to those found...

Milk protein producer not ready throw in towel to whey

Milk protein producer not ready throw in towel to whey

Milk proteins continue to carve out a strong niche in sports nutrition despite’s whey...

Just Thrive Probiotic chosen for HIV trial, company says

Just Thrive Probiotic chosen for HIV trial, company says

Thrive Probiotic has gathered data on the company’s Just Thrive Probiotic supplement and its...

Patient interest driving increase in supplement use, naturopathic doctor says

Patient interest driving increase in supplement use, naturopathic doctor says

Naturopathic doctors can play a key role in supporting the use of supplements through...

Synbio ingredients have vast market penetration, new list shows

Synbio ingredients have vast market penetration, new list shows

Synthetic biology, or GMO 2.0 as some are calling it, has vastly more penetration...

FOODVISION: DNA testing just ‘one part of the jigsaw’

FOODVISION: DNA testing just ‘one part of the jigsaw’

Andrew Steele

Head of Product Development, DNAFit

Is pharma interest in probiotics a challenge or opportunity?

Is pharma interest in probiotics a challenge or opportunity?

The probiotic category continues to grow rapidly on a global basis. And with growth...

Key Industry Events

 

Access all events listing

Our events, Shows & Conferences...