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Fast-tracking health products


A new collaboration between Anagenix and Plant & Food Research will see health and wellness products based on New Zealand science fast-tracked to the international market.

The Innovation Cell is a new co-investment business model whereby Anagenix, a New Zealand-based small business, will launch new natural ingredients for consumer products, based on Plant & Food Research science, into the market at an early stage. The marketing stories for these products will develop over time with additional scientifically-validated nutrition or health claims.

The new business model recognises the difficulty that small entrepreneurial companies encounter when engaging with science due to the time scales and costs involved in long-term research projects.

“Traditionally, small businesses haven’t been able to access science due to the length of time and cost involved,” says David Hughes, Group General Manager Commercial at Plant & Food Research. “The Innovation Cell model provides Anagenix with a product concept, based on fundamental science, that can be introduced to the market and adapted based on consumer feedback and additional research findings. Over time, the company is able to co-fund further research and build a portfolio of scientific evidence that supports health marketing of the product.”

Earlier this year, Anagenix launched BerriQi™, a Boysenberry-based ingredient blend aimed at Chinese consumers concerned about the effects of pollution. This product is based on Plant & Food Research science that suggests Boysenberry consumption can manage lung inflammation. The company is expecting sales of NZ$3.6 million in the first year following launch.

“Anagenix is very excited to be able to collaborate with Plant & Food Research to truly co-develop new products, rather than on a project by project basis,” says Chris Johnson, Managing Director of Anagenix. “Consumer trends can change quickly, and being able to get a health product to market that addresses their concerns at the right time is key to building our business. Being part of the Innovation Cell provides Anagenix with access to products, based on science, that the consumer wants right now, and allows us to build a research plan that can support product marketing over time.”

“The Innovation Cell provides Plant & Food Research with the ability to liaise with a different type of organisation, putting into practice a more innovative, entrepreneurial style of thinking,” says Mr Hughes. “The Innovation Cell is a new way of thinking for our staff, creating an environment that encourages a free exchange of ideas about what’s possible in a consumer product and a different model of sharing the value of products generated through science.

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