Glanbia adds sparkle to iron with new Lactoferrin delivery format

By Adi Menayang

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags World health organization

With athletes in mind, Glanbia partnered with Wisconsin-based PoppingFUN for a new confectionary-inspired delivery format for iron supplements.

“When you’re an athlete, or I call them ‘app athletes,’ I was thinking of a consumption moment for them—they're running really hard, or they're competing with their app—what they want is something light to carry,”​ said Angela Walter, Senior Product Manager of Lactoferrin at Glanbia​ during the SupplySide West 2016 show in Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas.

The prototype product is a small packet of carbonated crystals, that resembles the candy that makes a tingling and popping sensation in the head. “What [PoppingFUN does] is coat the outside the bioferrin on the outside of this,” ​she added. “So it creates this consumption moment of you rip it, you pop it, and you restore your iron back to its natural component, because one of the main things is that when you’re an athlete, you lose that iron.”

A fun solution to the most common nutritional deficiency

Walter said that retrospectively, a big issue in the lactoferrin industry has been the nutrient's 'Swiss Army Knife' positioning. "It did immune health, anti-inflammatory properties, it helped with skin health and brain health," ​she said. At this stage, Glanbia's direction was to reposition it as traditional iron supplement. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), iron deficiency is the most common and widespread nutritional disorder in the world​, and “the only nutrient deficiency which is also significantly prevalent in Industrialized Countries.”

Around 2 billion people, or more than 30% of the world’s population, are anaemic because of iron deficiency. It’s also the number one supplement consumers have the hardest time taking because it may upset the stomach, Walter argued.

Because of that, Glanbia argued that Lactoferrin, iron derived from milk, is a solution because it is “the body’s favorite source of iron—it mediates the iron in your gut and in your body,” ​Walter added.

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