Larger manufacturers and smaller niche players in particular are looking for evidence of the science behind ingredients, and examples of innovative ways they can be applied to products, said Holger Riemensperger, general manager of the health business unit at Frutarom.
“I can see a change in mindset from a supplier to customer relationship, to a partnership,” Riemensperger told Food Manufacture at last month’s Vitafoods Europe in Geneva, Switzerland.
“Increasingly, companies are approaching us and asking whether we have an idea for innovation. And if we are able to provide one, then they are looking for the whole package.
“By that, I mean us supplying the science, and to a large extent, the reformulation as well.”
Doubled in size
According to Riemensperger, Frutarom – which has doubled in size in little more than four years to be worth $1bn – had made functional food, and functional drinks in particular, a key priority.
“I think we are now prepared to move into functional food. We are one of the largest flavour houses in the world, so it’s an ideal combination.
“We have very serious science behind our products, and we continue to invest in them heavily.”
Frutarom used Vitafoods to launch its NutraT range, a soluble powder formula containing a range of antioxidants. NutraT is said to work well in soft drinks and dairy products.
It includes OliveT, with 25% olive polyphenol content for cardiovascular health.
Riemensperger’s comments were mirrored at a Vitafoods seminar by Jeff Hilton, of US-based consultancy Brandhive.
Hilton told attendees that manufacturers and ingredients suppliers should take a more collaborative approach to brand-building if they are going to meet rapidly-changing consumer demands.