At Sirio Europe, General Manager Sara Lesina answers our questions.
Sara, can you explain your category approach, and how this translates into new formulations and food supplement products?
“Yes, we have some great examples of our new category approach launching at this year’s VFE. The categories we are working on most intensively are the top-trending ones of beauty, sports nutrition and gut health. These are the three areas where consumers are seeking more options to deliver on staple benefits.
“Visitors to VFE will see new gummies – the fastest growing dosage form in Europe - launched by Sirio in the first two of these three categories. A first to market, both products feature undenatured collagen ingredient type II, in combination with other power ingredients. This is the collagen form with the highest level of bioavailability. That, along with the fact that it has proven benefits in joint health, is why we have used it in formulating our new sports nutrition gummy together with Vitamin C, which contributes to normal collagen formation for healthy function of bones and cartilage.
“For the beauty-from-within product, we have worked with our R&D teams to incorporate an incredibly high payload of full-spectrum collagen peptides (500g). Again, this is an international ‘first’: the only product so far to build all three types of collagen into a single formulation – and a single gummy.”
What does this second product tell us about Sirio’s gummy production capabilities?
“It shows just how far this product form has progressed for the company. We can now dose a market-leading payload of active ingredient into each gummy, without any impact on appearance, shelf life and sensory aspects.
“But the double-digit growth we’ve been seeing in this format is at least partly to do with the sensory pleasure it delivers. Doesn’t every brand want consumption of its product to feel like a reward rather than a chore? So, we ensure that the high dosage our system achieves has no negative impact on this pleasurable aspect.
“It’s important to be able to offer choice, such as different textures driven by gelatin or pectin. Preferences in any given market may be driven by dietary and clean-label requirements but, with gummies, for example, also by as subjective a consideration as mouthfeel. We can also offer the full spectrum of sugar, low sugar and sugar free gummies, depending on customers’ needs and consumers’ preferences.”
But it’s not all about gummies?
“Certainly not! Our 200 people-strong R&D team, where we have been investing heavily, has specialized expertise across the wealth of dosage forms (softgels, capsules, liquids, powders) as well as functional ingredients. When you’re serving the wide range of regional markets that we are, you cannot take a one-size-fits-all approach. We need to be able to speak the language, not only of our customers but of consumers in each of those markets, in terms of need states. And that applies as much to dosage forms as it does to the rest of the product specification.
“Our dedicated R&D teams are continually working not only on the properties of those active ingredients but on how they can support claims and be incorporated into different dosage forms. Softgels will be another product line in focus for us at Vitafoods.
“Softgels are another excellent example of how we can fine-tune to meet different market needs. On a global scale, the vast majority of softgels are gelatin based, which of course, we also supply. But we have well-tried alternatives here, too. Our Plantegrity® range of softgels includes versions containing carrageenan and the latest arrival with gellan gum, which has clean-label properties and offers superior heat and humidity stability, Including in finished packaging.”
Meet Sara and the Sirio Europe team at their booth I40 during the coming Vitafoods show.