Can an ingredient brand help to shape the finished product brand story in a way that resonates with consumers?
We are moving towards the era of personalised nutrition and consumers are becoming ever more knowledgeable about the supplements, food and beverage available to boost their health—and the ingredients making the difference. This creates excellent opportunities for manufacturers to strengthen their product brand story with strong ingredient branding.
Nutrition is about much more than physiology to consumers
Today’s consumers want nutrition products that will not just satisfy their physiological needs, but will also allow them to express individuality and ideology.1 In response to this trend, many brands are identifying and segmenting their target audiences on the basis of demographics and psychographics. This enables them to present a brand story that is compelling enough for their audiences to share with their communities.2 Branded ingredients can be a valuable asset here, as consumer acceptance of the ingredients chosen by manufacturers is an important factor in developing new products and brands.3 To tap into the brand value of an ingredient, the following questions should be answered:
- Are the target consumers aware of this product—and interested in—the specific ingredients in this product?
- Are there trends or changing demographics stimulating demand for this ingredient?
Take the case of collagen peptides—traditionally used to enhance skin beauty, collagen peptides are now gaining a key role in other markets globally, such as joint and bone health. Driven by ageing populations, the blurring of lines between different sports nutrition user groups and increasing scientific evidence for collagen peptides’ joint and health benefits, more and more consumers are recognising collagen peptides as a vital means of improving, or maintaining, their mobility. These consumers tend to look for collagen peptides with a strong brand reputation—for example, they appreciate a brand built on solid science and offering maximum transparency regarding source/origin, safety, traceability, clean labelling, etc. The image of the brand therefore plays an important role when it comes to helping manufacturers communicate the credibility, trust and authenticity of their finished products.
The nutrition market is rich with opportunity
Numerous trends are creating exciting opportunities in the global nutrition market—for example, the busy lifestyles of consumers are boosting demand for convenient food offerings, with ready-to-eat and ready-to-drink concepts ranking high on consumer shopping lists. Consumers are also taking smaller meals and snacking more frequently to fuel longer work days.4 At the same time, the growing health and wellness trend means these consumers are not willing to compromise their nutrition for their busy schedules.
In this opportunity-rich market, a branded ingredient with multiple proven health benefits can spell the difference between the success or failure of a nutrition concept. Furthermore, a brand that can provide the expertise of formulation and co-innovation support will add value to manufacturers developing nutrition products tailored to their customers’ needs. It will enable these manufacturers to formulate great products their consumers can easily integrate in their everyday diets.5
Today’s consumers are open to having relationships with brands that share their values and fit into their lifestyles. A strong ingredient brand can help manufacturers gain credibility with consumers, completing the overall brand story. It can give a finished product that extra strength it needs to grow and to create sharable content that engages with the customer journey of the buyers.
1. Sports nutrition presentation from InterBrand Health at Ingredient Marketplace, 2017
2. Marketing to Millennials Matters, Innova, 2016
3. Healthy Marketing Team
4. Report: Consumers want healthy snacks, but reach for salty instead, Food Dive, 2017
5. ‘Using Peptan in our products reinforces this image of quality and reliability’, Testimonial from Vaminter, a dietary supplement manufacturer, 2016