Food and Drink Innovation Network 11th December 2007, Birmingham Metropole

Nutrition & Food Science

ISSN: 0034-6659

Article publication date: 23 May 2008



(2008), "Food and Drink Innovation Network 11th December 2007, Birmingham Metropole", Nutrition & Food Science, Vol. 38 No. 3.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Food and Drink Innovation Network 11th December 2007, Birmingham Metropole

Article Type: Conference reports From: Nutrition & Food Science, Volume 38, Issue 3.

Superfoods, functional foods and nutraceuticals

With the Euro-Legislators out to banish new-age quackery on food and nutrition, this seminar was of great use to sweep away some of the claims regarding "superfoods", functional foods and nutraceuticals.

This seminar provided information on the best business opportunities in the functional food sector. It also covered legal aspects with answers, which provoked discussion. Also covered were the market scope for functional foods and nutraceuticals as well as consumer attitudes, brand implications, what to avoid and some wonderful case studies.

The event provided a superb networking opportunity as delegates were encouraged to move from group to group throughout the day and thus get to know each other and their roles and work interests.

The nutritionist, Dr Carrie Ruxton, of Nutrition Communications, chaired the day.

The sessions included:

  1. 1.

    An introduction to superfoods, nutraceuticals and functionals: what is the difference? The A to Z of superfoods. What consumers really want? The crossroads: which way for superfoods now?

  2. 2.

    Regulatory aspects: EU regulations made easy. This included EU Health Claims regulations: what are they and why should we care? The latest on the EU Approved Health Claims list. What we can and cannot say about superfoods. Claims and opportunities. Making the most of the regulations to promote superfoods legally.

  3. 3.

    How to launch winning healthy food products. What a healthy food products marketing team consists of. Understanding the four factors for success which are:

    • Who needs the product and why?

    • How will they understand the benefit?

    • How will they accept the ingredients?

    • How will they trust your brand to deliver this?

  4. 4.

    Presenting superfoods: including the important aspect of getting over the message about health and nutrition. Different types of health, nutrition and well-being claims. Holistic approach versus one-dimensional approach. What are claims telling consumers about your brand? What brands are communicating successfully? With finally some tips for getting your message across.

  5. 5.

    Market overview included market and category definitions. This included some specially designed packaging aimed to get the message across. It also included consumer demographics for superfoods, the main consumer issues and needs for superfoods, functional foods and nutraceuticals. There was also a focus on older, richer and wiser consumers as a segment interested in purchasing superfoods.

  6. 6.

    Bad science and health claims in advertising from the Advertising Association ( This included why it is important to present superfoods in a clear and transparent way to the consumer. What is misleading and what is not. Key rules to follow when communicating health and nutrition claims in ads. How the ASA will respond to the new EU regulations on health claims. How industry can work with the ASA to get communication of superfoods/functional foods right?

  7. 7.

    Apple polyphenol as an ingredient to make "heart health" claims. This also covered consumer communication plans and product development plans and partner companies in the use of apple polyphenols.

  8. 8.

    Probiotics: "Gut Health" claim. From Yakult included information on probiotics: what are they and what do they do? New evidence for multiple health benefits of probiotics and successful consumer messaging of these.

  9. 9.

    Oats and -glucans discussed evidence for health benefits, claims both current and future. Types of oat-based products and marketing messages.

There were also three table-team brainstormings so you worked with peers on how to take forward your new ideas. There was also at the end of the day a question and answer session with a chance to pose questions to the panel of experts.

This was an excellent event with a good scientific basis with a bias toward application. It was also one of the best events for networking that I have attended.

More information on future events can be obtained from: Jeffrey Hyman, Chairman.

Food and Drink Innovation Network, which has the slogan "Sharing Innovation and Best Practice" go to or mailto:

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