New Zealand-based Dairy Giant, Fonterra Powers 2003 TransAtlantic Rowing Team

New Zealand dairy company Fonterra hopes an energy bar developed by its Marketing & Innovation team will give New Zealand rowers Kevin Biggar and James Fitzgerald an edge in the up-coming 2003 TransAtlantic Rowing Challenge.

Campaign manager and race-record holder Rob Hamill says the right food is crucial for success.

“We need a fuel source that is light to carry, easy to eat, and provides the energy levels we need for optimum performance. The bars developed by Fonterra far exceed any commercial product on the market,” Hamill says.

The bar is a product of Fonterra’s Health & Nutritional Solutions division (HNS), which specializes in isolating bioactive ingredients (those having a specific effect on living tissue) found in milk, and processing them into ingredient products for the international market.

The company has already received a number of enquiries about the bar, which is a prototype example of what Fonterra customers could manufacture with the ingredient. HNS hope to gain customer interest in the ingredient and see it commercially launched as a consumer product through a customer partnership.

HNS marketing services manager Emily Small says, “the formula on which the bar is based will form part of a product range aimed at a variety of consumers, including young children and the elderly, who would benefit from energy-dense products. This endurance bar a good example of how Fonterra, as an ingredient supplier, is focusing more on consumer trends and needs in order to help our customers develop innovative consumer products.”

The bar’s innovative, lipid-based formula means it packs almost double the energy of carbohydrate-based equivalents but Small says the development process is not yet finished.

“We are continuing to refine the original formula to ensure it is up to date with the latest sports science and nutrition advances, and the race provides us with an exciting opportunity to test the latest prototype and contribute to the New Zealand campaign,” she says.

Emily Small and Russell Wilson of Fonterra manufacture
the prototype bar for rower, Kevin Bigger (middle)

The race starts on 19 October in the Canary Islands, finishing 5,000 kms and about six weeks later in Barbados.


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