Editor's Spotlight: Startup Focus

Trendy innovations from triathlete-focused trailblazer

By Nikki Cutler contact

- Last updated on GMT

HIDDIT vegan
HIDDIT vegan
One year on from his moment in the spotlight as a 'trailblazer' at NutraIngredients Sports Nutrition Summit last year, triathlete-focused brand founder Tony Van Campen is making waves across Europe with a series of on-trend innovations.

Since attending the summit last September as a winner of NI's sports nutrition trailblazers competition, Van Campen has realised his target of expanding his European footprint by gaining distribution in an extra five countries.

The three-year-old Belgian brand is now available across Portugal, Spain, Denmark, Holland, Montenegro and France, with the UK being his next focus.

Tony Van Campen

Vegan with vigour

Tapping into the trend for veganism, but with athlete-worthy functionality, the entrepreneur has also managed to create a vegan protein which he claims is just as efficient as whey.

“I’m allergic to milk myself so I understand the difficulty of trying to find a vegan protein powder which doesn’t trade off on efficacy.

“This solution contains added l-lucein to help muscle synthesis, combined with pea protein, to create a profile very similar to whey protein.

“Our target audience is athletes and so our focus always has to be the functionality of the products as they are not going to compromise on quality or efficacy.” 

He adds that this new product rivals and surpasses most animal sources with a leucine content of 10,66% and a serving of High Protein Vegan delivers 3,2 grams of leucine – above the recommended 2,5 grams to stimulate muscle growth.

Free of sugar, allergens and artificial colours and flavours (using real cocoa powder), this is an example of the brand's focus on delivering innovative products geared towards athletic clientele.

hiddit with collagen
HIDDIT with Peptan collagen

Major partnerships

Keeping his trend-spotting goggles on, Van Campen has also partnered up with one of the biggest names in collagen to launch his own protein and collagen formulation.

"We partnered with Peptan to bring out a new whey protein with extra collagen which is ideal for athletes whose connective tissue get a lot of beating.

“Collagen is the most abundant protein in your connective tissue. In fact, 70 - 80% of your joints, tendons and cartilage consists of collagen. As an athlete, your joints and tendons need to be healthy so it made sense to add collagen to our whey."

The shake offers a generous 35g of protein and 2g of collagen per serving.

Drinks without decay

Earlier this year, HIDDIT also revealed a new range of low acidity endurance drinks to address a ‘real need’ for products that do not damage tooth enamel. 

The new range of isotonic drinks offering optimum acidity and calcium he claims will solve the ‘major issues’ of tooth erosion in athletes.

Van Campen says research by the Centre for Oral Health and Performance ​ found that nearly half (49.1%) of athletes had untreated tooth decay and 77% had inflamed gums, an early indicator of gum disease. 

“This extreme high level of tooth decay negatively impacts health and performance, not to mention aesthetics," ​he told Nutraingredients.

“It is caused by a combination of factors, such as high air flow through the open mouth during intensive efforts and limiting saliva production. But part of the issue is also the extensive use of sports drinks, especially highly acidic drinks with pH lover than 5 – 5,5."

Speaking about the sports nutrition summit itself, Van Campen says the event was a great opportunity to get his brand in front of some of the top players in the industry.

“The event in itself was very interesting. It was great to have insights from colleagues and we made some contacts for products development.

“It also gave us more notoriety within the field to be portrayed as an innovative startup so it was a good bit of marketing.”

The Sports Nutrition Summit, brought to you by NutraIngredients is back for a second year!​ 

Bringing together industry and research professionals in the active and performance nutrition space, the Sports Nutrition Summit aims to bridge the gaps between cutting edge science, business strategy and key regulatory developments to shine a light on the key consumers in the sports and active nutrition industry, and what you can do to meet their needs​.

Challenging you to know your athlete​ the 2019 programme will explore the latest scientific and product developments across the consumer spectrum - looking at active sports nutrition consumers by category, life stage and by geography.


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