MINNEAPOLIS – October 25, 2002 – The energy food market will increase its dependence on science to help develop products that meet the specific needs of a wider variety of population segments, according to Ted Ziemann, president of Cargill Health & Food Technologies, Inc. Ziemann made his statements during a Science Meets the Consumer presentation at the Sports Nutrition for Health & Performance Conference in Scottsdale, AZ.
Ziemann explained that having enough energy remains a top priority for consumers, according to recent focus groups. And although energy requirements can differ widely by age, gender, health concerns, physical activity levels and other demographics, most consumers agree that the best sources of energy are good nutrition and rest.
As sales of energy bars and drinks increase, more market categories are emerging. In addition to the traditional sports bars and weight loss entries, there are now sweet and non-sweet products addressing women’s and children’s energy needs and health-specific concerns such as heart health and diabetes. As the distributor of trehalose, a less sweet carbohydrate source that may help sustain energy levels, Cargill has specific interest in the energy food category.
“In spite of the growing number of energy products, developing distinctive, efficacious products is challenging,” Ziemann said. “Not only do peoples’ energy needs differ, but we must also take into account the non-nutritional factors that affect their energy levels -- such as their fitness levels and overall health -- and develop the right tools for the job.”
The opportunity, said Ziemann, is to develop ingredients and combinations of ingredients that optimize performance for specific energy needs. “We need the right ratios of macronutrients (carbohydrates, fats and proteins) and scientifically validated micronutrients and phytonutrients.” Ziemann emphasized the growth in consumer demand for good tasting, safe products with effective ingredients that have been scientifically authenticated.
Ziemann believes that science must provide the foundation for these products by determining the safety and efficacy of ingredients, identifying the population segments most positively affected by those ingredients, comparing alternatives, and identifying the most effective delivery methods.
“The ideal energy product is fast acting, long lasting (for the duration needed), nutritionally sound, safe, natural, convenient, has a good taste and texture, and is reasonably priced,” he said.
Cargill Health & Food Technologies, based in Minneapolis, is a leading developer, processor and marketer of science-based, healthy ingredients for food and dietary supplements worldwide. It is a business unit of Cargill, Incorporated, an international marketer, processor and distributor of agricultural, food, financial and industrial products and services with 97,000 employees in 59 countries. Cargill provides distinctive customer solutions in supply chain management, food applications, and health and nutrition.