Who said business is boring? Food & Beverage Insider has the 411 on key industry moves affecting innovation and product development.

Judie Bizzozero, Content Director

May 6, 2021

6 Min Read
Business headlines

PepsiCo enters functional sparking water category with Soulboost

PepsiCo has waded into the functional sparkling water category with the launch of Soulboost, a sparkling water beverage with a splash of real juice and functional ingredients. Soulboost is available in two varieties: Lift, which contains 200 mg of panax ginseng to help support mental stamina, is available in two flavors—Blueberry Pomegranate and Black Cherry Citrus; Ease, which contains 200 mg of L-theanine to help support relaxation, is available in two flavors—Blackberry Passionfruit and Strawberry Rose.

The launch of Soulboost further establishes PepsiCo as a leader in the enhanced water market, expected to reach $11.3 billion by 2027. It is a key addition to PepsiCo’s functional beverage portfolio, following the 2020 launch of Driftwell, a functional still water beverage aimed at combating stress and supporting relaxation.

“Our world-class research and development team developed Soulboost by pinpointing desirable functional ingredients L-theanine and panax ginseng and adding them into great-tasting sparkling water beverages to help people truly feel the moment, whether they need to support mental stamina to make it through a busy day or a moment of relaxation to help unwind—or both,”" said Danielle Barbaro, vice president of R&D at PepsiCo Beverages North America.

Milk Specialties Global begins lactoferrin production

Milk Specialties Global, a leading international whey and milk protein producer, is entering the lactoferrin market following a multi-million-dollar investment at the company’s Fond Du Lac, Wisconsin facility. The project, which will be completed in May, is in support of ongoing customer partnerships and to align with their future supply chain needs.

Lactoferrin is a unique protein fraction that occurs naturally in whey protein. Lactoferrin comprises only a tiny portion of the overall whey protein but offers powerful health benefits when concentrated. There is a growing body of research around the benefits of concentrated lactoferrin for all life stages including enhanced immune system support, promotion of “good” prebiotic bacteria for positive gut health and improved iron status. Recent studies have brought lactoferrin’s antiviral properties to the forefront, demonstrating that it can favorably influence human cell response to COVID-19 infection.

“The research around the health and immune benefits of lactoferrin is very compelling,” said David Lenzmeier, CEO of Milk Specialties Global. “We recognize that consumers are becoming more health conscious and we make it a priority to stay in tune with our customers. We are simply excited to play a key role in the development of the next generation of health-focused products.”

Lactoferrin is part of Milk Specialties’ NutriPRO family of products and comes in a wide range of concentration options—from 0.15% purity up to 95% purity. Lactoferrin is highly functional and can be used in a wide range of applications. Along with being a core ingredient in infant formula, lactoferrin is ideally suited for health supplements, medical nutrition products, ready-to-mix drinks and functional foods.

Sente Foundry, Griffith Foods, Ingredion, Yildiz Holding launch FoodTech program

Sente Foundry LLC, in partnership with leading food product development company Griffith Foods, global food and retail company Yildiz Holding, and leading ingredients company Ingredion, announces the launch of their FoodTech: Health & Wellness startup program. This investment program seeking international startups for investments and pilot opportunities is a year-long program with a rolling admission process for startups.

The program features an intense set of activities to analyze and evaluate participating startups, connect them with projects within the ingredients, snacks, and “new health” food initiatives. Startups will work with the Sente, Yildiz, Ingredion and Griffith teams using a structured process that better prepares them to attract serious investors and customers and places them in a fast-moving, talented ecosystem of FoodTech entrepreneurs. Selected startups will have access to a global food companies’ full capabilities and reach to help them scale their development, manufacturing, distribution, and digital resources while also getting investment from its corporate venture capital branch.

As part of the FoodTech program, Sente and its partners will host an online FoodTech Summit this summer. This event is open to anyone interested in startups and experts in the FoodTech industry. Selected startups will present at the Summit as part of the program. Startups interested in participating should be early-stage with novel ingredients, food products, packaging, processing technologies and new experiences that cater to rapidly evolving consumer needs and desires. Sente is looking for visionaries that are developing brands and technologies that help us eat healthier and make more healthy and sustainable choices when eating. Applicants can be from anywhere in the world and can apply here.

New Glanbia Nutritionals website offers enhanced user experience

Glanbia Nutritionals launched a redesigned website at to offer an enhanced user experience that quickly connects visitors with the people, ingredients, services and expertise that can help create next-level nutrition solutions across foods, beverages and supplements.

The new site reflects Glanbia’s core capabilities including proteins, custom nutrient premixes, cheese, bioactive ingredients, flavors plant-based solutions, micronutrients, and aseptic beverage manufacturing, as well as Watson Inc. ingredients including bakery ingredients, edible film products and functionally optimized nutrients.

“Glanbia Nutritionals is built to help our customers innovate for better nutritional, functional and operational performance in their products,” said Brian Phelan, CEO of Glanbia Nutritionals. “Our new website demonstrates how we can help support our customers to grow their businesses with unique, high-quality, innovative nutrition solutions, tailored to solve their nutritional and functional challenges.”

The new home page’s interactive features provide an overview of how Glanbia Nutritionals is “Built Around You” with a commitment to finding the right solution for each project. Throughout the page, users can learn how partnering with Glanbia’s team creates avenues toward successful consumer products. As users navigate further through the site, they will find an open, explorable site where they can quickly access information on specific ingredients and services, as well as the company’s full offering of innovative solutions by market. The learning continues in a new NutriKnowledge Center where visitors can scan through insights, nutrition resources, previously recorded webinars and more to gain deeper understanding on a number of relevant topics.

AAK announces return of Jeffrey Fine to Customer Innovation team

AAK announced that Dr. Jeffrey Fine has rejoined AAK’s team as senior director, Customer Innovation for the U.S. and Canada. After serving as a consultant since October 2019, Fine will lead AAK’s Customer Innovation organization for the U.S. region.

Fine previously worked with the AAK U.S. organization from 2004-2016 and established the U.S. R&D function, which has now evolved to become the Customer Innovation organization for the U.S. region. His initial accomplishments for AAK included set up of laboratory-scale oil modifications processes and procedures in Port Newark, and development of the first margarine hardstocks for AAK’s U.S. bakery business. He also led the R&D efforts on strategic growth-focused segments, infant nutrition and candles. He launched the first “mitigated” products for infant nutrition in the U.S. and collaborated with the wax team responsible for the improved quality and reliability of vegetable wax for AAK’s newly emerging candle business.

About the Author(s)

Judie Bizzozero

Content Director, Informa Markets Health & Nutrition

Judie Bizzozero oversees food and beverage content strategy and development for the Health & Nutrition group at Informa Markets (which acquired VIRGO in 2014), including the Food & Beverage Insider, Natural Products Insider and SupplySide/Food ingredients North America brands. She reports on market trends, science-based ingredients, and challenges and solutions in the development of healthy foods and beverages. Bizzozero graduated from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University in 1987 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism.

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