Idea of food as medicine is coming of age

Idea of food as medicine is coming of age

Irish company NutraSci is well placed to benefit from the growing market for nutritional supplements targeted at specific health issues

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21st November, 2021

The global market for nutraceuticals is huge, at annual sales of $720 billion. And it is a market that is forecast to grow at 8.3 per cent per annum, according to Gerry Dunne, founder and chief executive of NutraSci.

“What is even more interesting and relevant to NutraSci is that the global online market is growing even faster, at over 20 per cent of the total market,” he said.

NutraSci Ltd is a High-Potential Start-up (HPSU) company supported by Enterprise Ireland, led by Dunne and chairman Eamon Bradshaw.

Dunne has a very strong background at chief executive/director level in the nutrition and food sectors in Britain and Europe.

“Nutraceuticals are, fundamentally, foods which deliver specific health/nutrition benefits,” he said. “The business idea came when we asked ourselves ‘are there any great-tasting products which deliver significant nutritional support for specific health conditions?’.”

Our research identified a number of such health conditions. Our nutritionist, Helena Scully, created bespoke formulations for the three health conditions we will initially target: osteoporosis, menopause and digestion.

“Our core target market is the 50+ age demographic, which is forecast to double in size globally by 2050. We will focus on health-conscious adults in this demographic, as people live much longer due to improved health, wellness, medicines and diet.”

“We will focus primarily on the online market. In Ireland, over 1 million adults in the 50+ demographic have internet connectivity, and 85 per cent per cent use the internet frequently. In the UK, 12 million people in the 50+ age demographic use the internet. The Covid-19 pandemic has seen huge growth in online shopping, with the 65+ age group recording the highest growth rate, going from 16 per cent to 65 per cent in the last year.

“Taking our osteoporosis product as an example, the NutraSci formulation will deliver a tasty health bar under the brand name NutraNourish.

“This product delivers 100 per cent of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of Vitamin D, and also a very high level of calcium and Vitamin K. Importantly, these vitamins and nutrients are delivered by using natural and tasty ingredients such as seeds, nuts, oats, fruit and dark chocolate. There are no products such as NutraNourish currently available on the market right now, so we will be first to market.

“The chief competition comes in the form of pills and powders. NutraNourish health bars give consumers a great alternative to consuming a plethora of pills and supplements. In so doing, NutraNourish health bars also help consumers deal with pill fatigue.”

Globally, 200 million people suffer from osteoporosis, of which around 3.5 million are in Britain and Ireland . Some 1.2 billion women globally suffer from menopause, while 40 per cent of the global population suffer from digestive issues.

“As we intend to launch in early 2022 into the UK and Irish online markets, it is worth noting that the annual sales of vitamins and supplements in the UK and Ireland is circa €1.2 billion.”

The company carried out market research in the form of in-depth interviews and focus groups in 2021 with Brand Dynamics, a leading market research and brand development company. “The results of this consumer research were overwhelmingly positive, with consumers reacting very positively to the overall product concept, to the brand name NutraNourish, and to the packaging/design.

“Independent taste assessment was carried out by SRL, a UCC campus company specialising in sensory assessment. The results of these taste tests were extremely positive,” said Dunne

“Side by side with our EIIS drive, we are also offering people the opportunity to acquire ordinary shares, so that they can avail of the upside as the business grows.

“We are very grateful to DHKN Accountants in Galway, who helped in the preparation of our comprehensive information memorandum.”

For further information, contact Gerry Dunne at [email protected]

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