Magazine: Consumers are more conscious, but they still have a lot to learn

By: Tisza Andrea Date: 2018. 11. 14. 07:04

Although the market of functional foods keeps growing, it isn’t sill fully clear yet what products belong to this category. The general interpretation is that those foods are functional which fit into some kind of special diet or contain ingredients, vitamins or minerals that make them a healthy alternative for consumers who follow a healthy diet. Norbi Update Lowcarb Zrt.’s expert

Zsolt Hampuk
Norbi Update Lowcarb

Zsolt Hampuk reckons that various fashion trends affect the market of functional foods. Shoppers are becoming more conscious, but they still have a lot to learn about how to buy functional foods. The company is working hard on developing new products. Some of Norbi Update Lowcarb Zrt.’s products have increased fibre content, others have more protein in them or added vitamins – reduced carbohydrate and no added sugar content are characteristic of all of them. There are about 300 products in the portfolio, the latest one being a low-carb bread roll with 13-percent protein content (vs. the traditional 5.1 percent).



Balázs Mészáros
sales and marketing manager

According to Balázs Mészáros, sales and marketing manager of Cerbona Élelmiszergyártó Kft., the most important thing with functional foods is that shoppers want the given product to provide the desired function in 100 percent; good quality also matters a lot – if the product delivers these two things, people will pay a higher price for it than the average. Cerbona never stops innovating, reacting to market changes. A good example of this is the company’s gluten-free product range, which recently welcomed new members: GM muesli bars are now available in 4 flavours and there are 2 new GM mueslis as well.



Brigitta Balázs
brand manager

Brigitta Balázs, brand manager of Hunorganic Kft. shares the view that the latest dietary trends and information from advertisements influence the market of functional foods. The company’s new-generation NATURBIT gluten-free products contain less starch, and they are made from buckwheat, millet and chickpea flours, tapioca starch and fibres. Ms Balázs explained to us that these products have lots of fibres and minerals in them. This year the company developed many easy to use flours for specific purposes, e.g. flour mixes for making waffles, noodles, tortilla and pizza. Hunorganic Kft. is busy developing sugar- and gluten-free product lines. Under the NATURBIT umbrella brand we also find the MIMEN range: these products are free from all types of allergens. Being a Hungarian food producer, the company can react to consumer feedback quickly, monitoring consumer needs all the time.


Andrea Révfalvi 
marketing manager
Detki Keksz

Andrea Révfalvi, Detki Keksz Kft.’s marketing manager spoke to Trade magazin about shopper demand being steady for the company’s good old, mainly sugar-free products. In addition to these, their recently launched sugar-free biscuits are also available in more and more shops, plus demand is on the rise for the gluten-free KexChips range. From this year sugar-free biscuits are made using a new recipe and they are marketed under a new name, Cukormentes Éden and in new packaging. Demand is also great for the new sugar-free Cookies product range, which is available in two versions. Detki’s top product is the famous household biscuits, from which a sugar-free and a children’s version (fortified with calcium) is also available. The Lurkó biscuit range is made for kindergarten and school kids: these biscuits are fortified with vitamins and/or various minerals; a wholemeal version can also be found in shops. KexChips salty snacks have low fat content and are gluten-free.

Fatime Bánkúti
marketing manager
Omega Bázis

Fatime Bánkúti, marketing manager of Omega Bázis Kft. called our attention to the fact that shoppers are willing to pay more for free-from products and that they are also more loyal to these foods. The company’s latest innovation direction is ABY’S gluten-free convenience products, e.g. snacks, pizza bases, tortillas and breads. These baked goods aren’t only gluten-free, they are also made from natural ingredients, without using preservatives. Last year the company started using new gluten-free baking technology, thanks to which the products made are also free from egg and lactose; only vegan ingredients are used in production. We learned from Erika Balogh, marketing manager of Biopont Kft. that products must be not only ‘free-from’ but tasty as well. The company’s most popular product is gluten-free salty sticks. Biopont Kft.’s products are organic, made from selected ingredients with strict control – and many of them are gluten-free too. This year’s new products from the company: gluten-free lentil snack (in salty and onion-black pepper versions), gluten-free Bavarian salty snacks, gluten-free breadcrumbs, rice and corn porridge.




Gergely Kölcsei
brand manager
Coca-Cola Magyarország

Coca-Cola Magyarország has entered the market of functional drinks with the new, plant-based drink range AdeZ, and with the Cappy+ range, which consists of drinks fortified with vitamins and minerals. Brand manager Gergely Kölcsei told: besides focusing on the advantages offered by functional foods, the company also makes sure that shoppers get the best taste when buying these products. AdeZ can substitute milk and all of the plant-based drinks – even without added sugar – offer a silky-creamy consumption experience and great taste. The product can fit into various diets and lifestyles with six different versions. Coca-Cola regularly launches new flavours and product ranges, based on market needs and consumer feedback. Drinks can be found in shops at more places, e.g. Cappy+ products are now also displayed in the fruits and vegetables and baked goods sections of grocery stores.


Judit Szép 
member of the presidency
Hungarian Association of
Dietary Supplement Manufacturers
and Distributors

Judit Szép, member of the presidency of the Hungarian Association of Dietary Supplement Manufacturers and Distributors (MÉKISZ) revealed that the segment is growing dynamically and it changes all the time. A large part of sales is realised via pharmacies, but online sales are also important. Ms Szép opines that consumption habits are changing among dietary supplement buyers, people are turning more health-conscious, trying to prevent the occurrence of illnesses. Which products are the most popular? Immune system strengthening and multivitamin products, and Omega-3 and magnesium containing products. She added that putting innovative new products on the market is limited by legal requirements: according to the rules, products must contain certain components, which have already been used for years. However, revolutionary new technologies such as the appearance of liposomal formulas can shake up the market.



Márk Maczelka
head of communications
SPAR Magyarország

SPAR offers complex help to consumers for eating quality food and leading an active life, with the SPAR Lifestyle Programme. As part of this a book titled ét&rend was also published in September 2018. This year the number of food products that fit into a healthy lifestyle or serve special dietary needs increased from 640 to 1,100 in the biggest SPAR and INTERSPAR stores. Head of communications Márk Maczelka told: in the dry goods, dairy and meat product categories they have started offering much more organic, gluten- and lactose-free and healthy products. This year Kometa ‘99 Zrt. started marking those products with a blue sticker that contain 25 percent less sugar than before.

Krisztina Bódi
marketing director
Kometa ’99

Marketing director Krisztina Bódi explained that their products aren’t specifically functional foods, but as a result of the company’s innovation efforts they can form part of a healthy diet, because they are free from added gluten, lactose and milk protein, and no soy is used in production either.

Ágnes Vattamány
marketing specialist

According to Ágnes Vattamány, marketing specialist of Bio-Fungi Kft., common mushroom is one of the most effective foods in fighting cancer: its consumption can block the activity of enzymes that cause prostate and breast cancer. She added that cultivated mushroom is the only variety that contains a small quantity of vitamin D2 and a large quantity of ergosterol, plus it is gluten- and lactose-free, contains no fat and has low calorie content, while it is rich in fibres. Recently the company has appeared with ‘Amigo – our mushroom’ branded products on the shelves of Spar, Metro, Auchan and Tesco stores. //

Related news