Kerry Group puts science front and center with new Innovation Hub

By Danielle Masterson

- Last updated on GMT

Image via Kerry Group
Image via Kerry Group

Related tags Kerry Group Ingredients

“The new innovation hub gives me pride to show that while we are pioneering our entrance into this category, we do have the cutting-edge clinical science and the expansive means of a market leader."

Ingredient firm Kerry Group recently launched its new digital Innovation Hub​ for supplements—a move the company said is aimed at showcasing the science behind the supplements. 

“Our new Innovation Hub was motivated by the desire to put our customers in the drivers’ seat and provide them with a dynamic platform to fully realize how Kerry can support and enhance their innovation goals—from understanding what health needs consumers are looking to meet to formulating with clinically supported ingredients to understanding consumer flavor preferences and tackling taste challenges in the finished product application,” said Dr. Alexandra Boelrijk​, senior director of R&D for Kerry’s ProActive Health division.

Dr. Boelrijk explained that the hub is a product of a cross-functional effort to pull together Kerry’s cutting-edge consumer insights, extensive library of clinical research and newly produced videos. Kerry’s proactive health portfolio covers need states that include digestive, immune, cognitive, women’s and infant health.

Hub features 

  • Expert interview videos with Kerry’s leading scientists and subject matter experts
  • New proprietary global research, featuring consumer preferences in supplements and across key health platforms
  • Insights into consumer taste preferences in supplements in categories like gummies and functional beverages
  • Clinical study data for Kerry’s ingredients
  • Solutions tools, including videos, sell sheets and brochures for each of Kerry’s proactive health ingredients

Ingredients + flavor 

Dr. Boelrijk highlighted that it is Kerry’s ability to combine clinically-proven ingredients with ingenuity in taste that distinguishes the company.

"Supplement innovation is booming with formats, such as gummies, stick packs, chewables and more," she said. "When you have ingredients such as botanicals or probiotics, inherently there will be a taste challenge to solve so the consumer has a positive consumption experience. We pair our expertise in science—such as almost 500 granted or pending patents and 100+ human clinical studies—with our expertise in taste, leveraging our 90+ master flavorists to create exceptional stand out innovations."

Need states in focus 

Kerry’s Innovation Hub relies on science and insights, which could come in the form of an interview with a scientist or via consumer research. Kerry recently published its 2023 Consumer Health & Wellness Research, which found that consumers are prioritizing digestive, cognitive and immune health. Zooming in, the report highlighted sub-need states that are driving growth in the health and wellness categories, including:

  • Digestive health continues to be the top need state for consumers, with 60% of supplements purchasers across 19 countries prioritizing digestive health, and bloating, inflammation and bowel discomfort as the top concerns.
  • The consumer demand for cognitive health support, specifically stress relief, has continued to growth in the post-COVID world, up over 20 percentage points since 2021.
  • For women, there are five primary sub-need states of importance: vaginal health, stress & mood management, reproductive health, weight management and hormonal balance. Kerry anticipates innovation to spike for women’s health needs, with 75% of female consumers stating they are adopting a long-term approach to health maintenance.
  • While immune health concerns had a large spike during the COVID-19 pandemic, Kerry views this as a long-standing concern and still very much top of mind for consumers. Immune supporting supplements are now a ritual with one in two consumers taking an immune supplement daily.

As a senior innovation leader in the nutrition industry, Dr. Boelrijk said she deeply appreciates the opportunity to showcase the strong clinical research supporting Kerry’s ingredients, which she said gives Kerry a competitive edge. 

"The hub is a one-stop-shop for innovation leaders to access the credibility behind our solutions, so together, we can create supplement products that not only resonate with the end consumer but are fully substantiated through science," she said. "In addition, Kerry is a challenger in the supplements space. The new innovation hub gives me pride to show that while we are pioneering our entrance into this category, we do have the cutting-edge clinical science and the expansive means of a market leader."

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