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Functional foods and personalization: Two major trends come together as a part of an EU granted H2020 project

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Functional foods are one of the fastest growing categories in our industry. Consumers are more aware than ever about the impact that nutritional choices have on daily health and wellbeing.

Combining functional foods and digital assessment; an innovative approach to customized nutrition​    

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Monteloeder, as a part of an EU-funded project with its branded ingredient Metabolaid, has launched an innovative product test with consumers. The Spanish company in collaboration with dairy company CLUN has developed a functional yogurt formulated with Metabolaid, a proprietary blend of Hibiscus sabdariffa and Lippia citriodora extracts, clinically-proven to help weight management, and a supporting mobile app to guide consumers towards healthier lifestyle changes and an adequate product use.

Food companies, in a constant effort to improve their products according to the current consumer needs, are always looking for ways to make their products healthier and the consumer experience with their brands more relevant. We live in a society where consumers need solutions that can adapt to their busy lives, of course, in a personalized manner. They are always on the go and always connected. Monteloeder is aware of the technological revolution we are undergoing and how it is affecting our society. Together with this rapid evolution, demographic and socioeconomic changes are becoming increasingly noticeable. People live longer and they are more aware than ever before about the importance of prevention for healthy aging. Nevertheless, the increasing urban hectic lifestyle pushes against the much-desired care and wellbeing.

 What if the brands we trust and are already a part in our daily lives can help us be healthier? This is the main purpose behind this project. Give brands the opportunity to have a greater impact in consumer wellbeing delivering not just high quality and effective functional formulas, but also the right tools to engage with consumers and offer them guide and support in a personalized manner.

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The product developed for this test is a functional yogurt that may help consumers going through weight management procedures. The mobile app designed to accompany consumers in this journey has the following features: product intake registration and reminders through push notifications to ensure consumers adherence, basic nutritional intervention reminding users the importance of fruit and vegetables consumption and proper hydration, encourage physical activity, weight and habit tracking; all in a framework of weekly challenges to make the journey easier and fun for all participants.

To develop this complete solution, Monteloeder has relied on the strong clinical evidence (Lee YS et al, Nutrients 2018; Boix-Castejón M et al, Food & Function 2018; Herranz-López M et al, Sci Rep 2019) supporting this ingredient as a starting point to design the interactions and dialogs contained in the mobile application. The digital support incorporates the principles highlighted by the latest studies in the fields of behavior economics and JITAI (Just In Time Adaptive Interventions, Nahum-Shani I et al, Ann Behav Med 2018). JITAI is an emerging intervention model that enables the use of new technologies, such as cell phones and sensors, to detect changes in user habits, and provide personalized support and messages at a determined moment when the user needs it most. This basically translates to: give the user what they need, how they need it and when they need it. This relatively new concept is rapidly being used for clinical and lifestyle interventions, to help treat mental health/addiction, stop smoking, or even to increase physical activity (Wang L et al, Health Communication 2019).

Food and pharma companies are moving forward to adapt their health solutions to be more personalized. Is your company ready to face this challenge and opportunity?

 

Marcos Lopez Diaz

Business Development Director – USA

Monteoeder USA Inc