“WE DEVELOP THE PRODUCTS OF TOMORROW”
How long have you been at GELITA, and what does your role entail?
I’ve learned everything about GELITA from scratch. After joining as an apprentice in 2008, I completed my bachelor’s and master’s degrees with the company as a partner. I then worked in the Marketing & Communications department, handling digital communications, communications material such as videos, and market intelligence. These experiences were all excellent preparation for my role as Category Manager, where I’m now responsible for developing the product portfolio for food specialties. I ensure all new products are market-oriented and serve specific consumer requirements. The other key parts of my role are helping these new products grow and making already established products more successful.
What is your involvement in new product development?
I look after the commercial side of product development. We have an extremely well-structured process here. I’m involved very early in the stage gate process, examining the market conditions to find out whether there is a need for the product. It also works the other way around: through market intelligence, we explore consumer demand and how we can help meet it with our products, and then we create a business plan. My colleagues in Product Development are responsible for each product’s technical feasibility and for making it successful in use, while I’m responsible for the product’s successful launch.
What are your hero products?
As we are always striving to fulfill demand in the greater context of a consumer need, I am super-happy to actually have two products in the Food with Health Benefits category. These are VERISOL® HST – our solution for beauty from within – and SOLUFORM™, which addresses the demand for sugar reduction and protein enrichment. They both belong to our Hybrid Smart Technology (HST) family.
Our Product Development team have done a great job in finding a solution to a problem that no other provider could solve. With VERISOL® HST, we can enrich gummies with up to 33% VERISOL® Bioactive Collagen Peptides (BCP®), which is quite extraordinary. As a result, consumers can achieve the recommended 2.5g daily dose of VERISOL® with just three fruit gummies a day. This obviously has an influence on our customers’ cost structure, with the cost per daily dose much lower compared to the standard solutions available on the market. Furthermore, we ensure perfect quality and texture in the end product, plus easy handling in production, so we are making both our customers and the consumers happy. Meanwhile, SOLUFORM™ enables up to 35% protein enrichment per gummy, with a sugar reduction of 70%. With further recipe adjustments, up to 100% sugar reduction is possible.
We’ve also just launched CONFIXX®, a special gelatin for gummies’ starchless casting, which is used for fortified gummies and gummy supplements. Up to now, there had been no satisfying gelatin available suitable for this production process. With CONFIXX®, our customers can offer gummies with consumers’ preferred gelatin texture, while ensuring the safe and clean production environment necessary for gummy supplements.
We’re also very excited about our new OPTIBAR™ collagen peptide solution for bar applications, which will be officially launched next year. It’s ideal for increasing the protein content of high-protein bars, and has been proven to keep protein bars softer over their shelf life. OPTIBAR™ can also be used by cereal bar manufacturers to produce a sugar-free binder without affecting taste and texture.
What are you passionate about in your role?
What I love about my job is that it’s so varied and complex. No day is like another, and you always have to keep an eye on the big picture to ensure success with the small projects. You need to listen and then apply this knowledge to different situations. It’s about being creative, but also analytical and a good planner.
It’s so inspirational to watch my colleagues work their magic with product development, and it’s very fulfilling to accompany these new products on their successful route to market and watch them grow. We are developing the products of tomorrow. Since we align our products to the market and keep an eye on the needs of consumers, our ultimate goal is to help our customers be successful and remain successful in the future.