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

Vox Pop: In sports nutrition, 'usually just protein'

Vox Pop: 'Protein, and that's pretty much it actually'

Sports nutrition is a booming industry, with Euromonitor estimating a value of $7.4bn in...

Curcumin may boost recovery and maintain performance during workouts

Curcumin may boost recovery and maintain performance during workouts

Dietary supplements formulated with highly bioavailable curcumin may allow for faster recovery after competition-level...

Potential for Nutrition Facts label delay should not slow compliance

The potential of a delay to Nutrition Facts label changes should not slow compliance efforts

Assuming FDA does not delay the deadline for the new Nutrition Fact label as...

VIDEO: From earthquakes to sourcing strife - the challenges to open the world’s newest omega-3 fish oil refinery

VIDEO: From earthquakes to sourcing strife - the challenges to open the world’s newest omega-3 fish oil refinery

Omega-3 fish oil supplier SeaDragon overcame a raft of challenges to open the world's...

Testing component of specifications often overlooked, expert says

Testing component of specifications often overlooked, expert says

Fit for purpose testing continues to be a challenge for dietary supplement companies, says...

Adverse events database not useful for drawing safety conclusions, expert says

Adverse events database not useful for drawing safety conclusions, expert says

The carte blanche release of adverse events data could give a skewed view of...

What’s happening with Health Canada’s proposed NHP changes?

What’s happening with Health Canada’s proposed NHP changes?

Health Canada has published its “What we heard” report, which shows differences in opinion...

VIDEO: Why New Zealand’s long-awaited Natural Health Products Bill is needed now more than ever

VIDEO: Why New Zealand’s long-awaited Natural Health Products Bill is needed now more than ever

Trade body Natural Products New Zealand is hoping new industry regulations – which it...

Aloha rebrands to make plant-based nutrition range pop across multiple channels

Aloha rebrands to make plant-based nutrition range pop across multiple channels

Wellness brand Aloha recently underwent a re-branding, re-formulation, and re-categorization of its plant protein...

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...

Key Industry Events

 

Access all events listing

Our events, Shows & Conferences...