Lauren Clardy is president of NutriMarketing, a marketing and business development consultancy that identifies and interprets innovative new ingredient concepts, works on all stages of development to transform trends and science into winning market-ready products.
What are some interesting trends you see for the industry?
Big trends I see on the horizon involve more convergence of pharma and nutra. We’ve all seen the discrete entry from pharma into the omega-3 arena. The recent move with Amarin and Vascepa is evidence more players will be entering the game, as well as other crossovers in the market with other botanicals and bioactives.
The whole category of nutrigenomics -- genetically guided health and wellness solutions as well as genetically guided nutrition – is still in its infancy stage, and the concept has not been translated yet to the consumer very well at all. I think we will see major strides in this area over the next few years as companies continue to reach for ways to differentiate themselves and their products with science-based solutions.
Also, the rise of the medical foods category both on and off the shelf. We will see more incorporation of nutra and bio actives into food and beverages. Mainstream categories will continue to grow in gut heath, CVD and blood-sugar support claims due to the global crisis with diabetes. We will see this across the board for all medical food categories – nutritionallycomplete formulas as well as formulas for metabolic disorders.
Lastly, we will continue to see a wide range of alternative solid dose delivery systems – bi-layer tabs, gel within a gel, dual or bio caps, liquid caps, fish gelatin caps, enteric-coating advances and other technology innovations. Even the old-fashioned veggie cap is now becoming more “green.”
What about science and research?
Solid science is an indisputable requirement to sustain an ongoing relationship with customers and consumers alike. In creating products that deliver a true functional benefit, the key to success is where strong, sustainable science meets consumer appeal. Finding that key isn’t easy or quick, but the chances for success are improved by objectively evaluating the science early in the innovation process.
Increased regulatory scrutiny combined with strict requirements from marketing partners to use only ingredients with a sound, supportive scientific platform create the need to communicate your companies clinical evidence clearly, decisively and, of course, legally. An evolving competency within supply side companies knows how to go from science to claim and from claim to successful brand marketing. It's a combination of scientific research business acumen, regulatory expertise and marketing savvy.
Scientific depth, regulatory and clinical testing expertise, consumer understanding and commercial experience – these will all be important components of delivering differentiated, actionable products for long-term sustainable growth and ultimately marketplace success.
If you have spare time, what do you like to do?
Well, aside from trying to keep up on all of my industry reading, living in the wine country has given me such an appreciation of the shop local, eat local, stay local and it takes work!I really make a point to shop local as much as I can. Most weekends include a journey to a local farm, or some event that features incredible choices and amazing tastes. Just recently I visited the Kendall Jackson heirloom tomato festival and could not believe the varieties – of course I ended up talking to the vendors about lycopene and wondering what the carotenoid differences were and how it might differ between the numerous varieties.
Suzanne Shelton is principal at Shelton Group PR, the natural products industry's leading boutique public relations outfit.