SUBSCRIBE

Breaking News on Supplements, Health & Nutrition - North AmericaEU 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.

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

Psychobiotics can feed gut-brain health axis: 'It’s really an exciting frontier,' says professor

Psychobiotics can feed gut-brain health axis: 'It’s really an exciting frontier,' says professor

Professor John Cryan

Chair and head of the Department of Anatomy and Neuroscience,...

Algatech: Functional food on astaxanthin horizon

Algatech: Functional food on astaxanthin horizon

Israeli firm Algatechnologies will work towards gaining approval for its astaxanthin as a novel...

Review: B vitamins, the brain (& deficiencies)

Review: B vitamins, the brain (& deficiencies)

Dr David Kennedy

director of the Brain, Performance and Nutrition Research Centre ,...

Functional & sparking bottled water sales are “very hot in the US”

Functional & sparking bottled water sales are “very hot in the US,” analyst says

Once considered boring by many Americans, water is becoming a go-to beverage of choice...

CV Sciences forges ahead with CBD development

CV Sciences forges ahead with CBD development despite regulatory uncertainties

Ground breaking CBD firm CV Sciences is seeking to shed the stigma of what...

Work on soil improvement leads to mineral ingredient for supplements

Work on soil improvement leads to mineral ingredient for supplements

Work in organic agriculture led Mineral Biosciences to the development of a “fossil mineral”...

NOW Foods CEO: Transparency is key facet of brand equity

NOW Foods CEO: Transparency is key facet of brand equity

Transparency has become a watchword among dietary supplement companies. Jim Emme, president of NOW...

The rise of adaptogenic herbs: ‘These herbs help mitigate stress & we live in a stressful environment’

The rise of adaptogenic herbs: ‘These herbs help mitigate stress & we live in a stressful environment’

Interest in adaptogenic herbs is increasing, but how does industry communicate the benefits to...

Turmeric, matcha & mushroom among specialty teas driving sales

Turmeric, matcha & mushroom among specialty teas that are engaging Millennials and driving sales

Sales of tea in the US continue to climb steadily, thanks in part to...

FDA should focus on tainted products, GMPs, NDIs

FDA’s new dietary supplement office should focus on tainted products, GMPs & NDIs, industry leaders say

With the recent elevation of dietary supplement oversight from a division to its own...

How should mainstream retailers merchandise 'natural' foods?

How should mainstream retailers merchandise 'natural' foods?

How best to merchandise 'natural' foods? For some mainstream food retailers, a store within...

The ‘next generation’ of digestive health drinks? Rhythm tunes into consumer trends

The ‘next generation’ of digestive health drinks? Rhythm tunes into consumer trends

Rhythm Health believes its coconut-based kefir beverages and snacks can be the ‘natural successor’...

On demand Supplier Webinars

Brain performance – when does it peak and what can we do about it?
Kemin Human Nutrition & Health
The NutraIngredients-USA Omega-3 Forum
William Reed Business Media
All supplier webinars