Vitafoods Europe 2014

UK lacks US’s functional food panache

By Nicholas Robinson

- Last updated on GMT

Manufacturers in the US are better at responding to functional food demands than those in the UK, an expert specialising in the sector has claimed.

“A lot of it is driven by the US consumer in terms of their desire and need for functionality, as it’s a little more progressed and salient ​[than in the UK],” ​Jeff Hilton, partner and chief marketing officer at US-based brand promotional company Brandhive, told in this exclusive podcast.

Pumping money into research

US food businesses had responded well to consumer demands by pumping money into research and development in the category, added Hilton, who was speaking at the tradeshow Vitafoods in Geneva earlier this month.

“The UK market needs to do more qualitative and quantitative research with the consumer to find out what interests they have and to try and find out which conditions are most important to them, so that they can deliver.”

Starting with the consumer and working backwards was the best way to address the opportunities available, he said.

Hilton was also optimistic about the potential growth younger consumers – aged 18 to 34 and known as millennials​ – could bring to the category.

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