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Conversations in play at BASF Innovation Day

On 18 September 2019, BASF welcomed new product developers, R&D experts, marketing professionals, and clinicians—amongst others—to its UK Customer Innovation Day at its UK headquarters in Cheadle, Greater Manchester. As BASF is renowned for its innovation leadership and smart solution expertise, the day's program was designed to address key issues affecting human nutrition before breaking into plenary sessions that highlighted BASF's micro market solutions.

The consumer question 

Developers looking to drive forward intelligent solutions always circle their purpose and mission back to the consumer and ask themselves what need is being served, and how can they get ahead of future demand? Gaining real traction in the market is personalised nutrition, driven by consumers wanting solutions tailored to their individual needs and health conditions. A veteran in personalised nutrition, Nard Clabbers, senior business developer at TNO, delivered the opening keynote, stating that the market has shifted to being defined as a service for customers that empowers and coaches them to healthier lives rather than DNA analysis and nutritional recommendations made off the back of those results. Based on research conducted amongst personalised nutrition consumers, Clabbers says results reflect a preference for digital content and platforms that they can explore for themselves, and combine with personalised services.

Key hurdles for the personalised nutrition market are tied to consumer education about what they need to do to in their journey to optimal health, the motivation to change, and the ability and tools to move forward. In his closing remarks, Clabbers cautions that the consumer of the future will drive further paradigm shifts for food and nutrition, as power moves to lie with the user, not producer. 

Micro market intelligent solutions

Plenary sessions addressed trends and challenges within the infant nutrition, omega-3 and sports nutrition markets.

Human milk oligosaccharides (HMO) beyond infrant nutrition

Marianne Heer, global scientific marketing at BASF Human Nutrition, provided an overview of recent HMO ingredient launches and commercially launched products, including BASF's prebiotic, PREBILACTM 2'-FL: a development of 2'-FL from strain development to downstream processing using an HMO fermentation strain designed for large-scale production. 

Pioneering in Omega-3: Getting more to where it is needed and drviignt he next wave of category growth

Ove Wikstrom, global head of business development omega-3 at BASF Human Nutrition, addressed the stagnant growth of the global omega-3 market, and how different supplement consumer groups need to be coverted or maintained for the future market. Overcrowded shelves, undifferentiated competition, insufficient EPA/DHA levels, generic claims and lack of consumer education about aborption were highlighted as pertinent challenges. 

PeptAIdeTM: The new generation of plant-based peptides for sports nutrition

Mareike Kampmann, global marketing dietary supplementa at BASF Human Nutrition, discussed the global demand for plant-based solutions and the rising interest in sports nutrition as consumers continue to pursue healthier and more active lives. Identified by artificial intelligence, PeptAIdeTM is BASF's innovative solution containing a unique set of plant-based peptides that modulate inflammation, supported by in-vitro studies and immune biomarker measurements. 

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