It's been interesting to watch the development of the functional foods category, or nutriceuticals category as some people say. I've worked on a few brands in the space myself, and the merging of food and health is quite natural to me. Good food choices and a healthy state go hand in hand.
The tricky part is that because these functional foods have health benefits, they make health claims. Enter the FDA.
Over the past few years, there have been a number of brands under the scrutiny of the FDA for their health claims -- Cheerios is a great example with its claims about high cholesterol.
That was cereal, how about pomegranate juice? POM Wonderful is another brand currently in front of the FDA for its health claims. The FDA has warned them that all health claims need to be approved by their governing body, something normally reserved for prescription drugs.
Do I think that's a problem? As I stated in this article from DTC Perspectives and their new "MDPA Minute" ... no. As long as the rules are clear and equally applied, then all brands need to abide by them. If you are making a health claim, then you need data to support it. Of course, the deeper the claim, the more support you need. But that only seems fair.
These days, if you are going to say you're wonderful then you just have to prove it!
What's your experience? Jim.