Swiss-Israeli flavours and ingredients house Frutarom wants a greater slice of the global functional foods and drinks market with new investment and initiatives to tap markets like the Americas and Asia and the “sensitive” European market.
Pharma and food supplement players have been its primary functional ingredient customers to date although its ingredients are used in healthy foods and drinks including yerba mate beverages in Asian countries like South Korea and the Philippines.
“We have invested in our teams and in delivering full-concept ingredient packages,” Frutarom segment manager in functional food, Valerie Barrois, told us this morning. “Now we want really to go deeper into functional foods. We have new products, new structures and a new strategy. We want to expand our functional foods business.”
“Our biggest advantage is that we can deliver healthy ingredients in formats that taste good due to our flavours experience and expertise. The science is growing and despite a challenging and sensitive regulatory environment in the EU, it is for these reasons we are moving more into these new market segments.”
“The EU is more mature and complicated in terms of the regulation situation [strict new health claim rules] but it is still a very attractive market for us,” Barrois said.
“There is a demand from the food industry to have innovative products for sure.”
The company highlighted ingredients-concepts like yerba mate (slimming, drinks); green oat extract (brain, bars); vitamin K2 (bone, dairy) and purslane (blood glucose control, drinks, chocolate).
While only the vitamin K-bone health claim has been approved in the EU, Barrois emphasised the international nature of the launches, the fact botanical claims were on hold in the EU and that the firm continued to invest heavily in clinical research for further submissions into the EU health claims system and in other parts of the world.
“We will go deeper into claims with more trials – we have submitted some claims and we will submit more,” Barrois said.
Holger Riemensperger, general manager of Frutarom Health, highlighted the health-plus-flavour control mix that not all ingredient companies possess in a statement from the company.
“This unique combination of our taste solutions and scientifically proven health ingredients … ensure that food and beverage manufacturers get a true partner with innovative capabilities for their functional product success in terms of taste and health.”