Finding the Opportunity in Functional Ingredients

Opening up opportunities to play in the $4.2 trillion global wellbeing market


Our client, a Fortune 500 company, wanted to better understand the ingredients with functional benefits category and determine whether it held any untapped opportunities for their business.

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In 2018, ingredients with functional benefits started emerging in the US, but their benefits were largely unknown to mass consumers. To learn first-hand from the vanguard of early adopters, we went on Safari in Los Angeles, the wellbeing cultural capital of the US. To maximize the business impact of the learnings, we invited a team of 18 participants across Insights, R&D, and marketing.

On Safari, participants experienced an immersive tour of 12 leading-edge retail and restaurants and in-depth panel conversations with experts innovating within the ingredients with functional benefits category.

48 hours later, we finished the Safari armed with 300+ product examples and 20 key insights that informed a series of innovation sprints to uncover the most relevant opportunities for the business.

The resulting management board presentation got company leadership so excited by the potential of this emerging category they expanded the programme funding to include Hidden Needs Research and Product Innovation Sprints. Ultimately the programme concluded with a clear vision of where to play in ingredients with functional benefits and a pipeline of consumer validated


  • Future Consumer Personas
  • 4 Innovation Platforms
  • 6 Consumer-validated Propositions
  • 3 year Product Pipeline
  • Future product design and communication principles


  • Shaped management board-level corporate strategy
  • Insights that continue to inform product strategy
  • Informed M&A strategy with multiple direct investments

“ This was a WTF experience in a good way. I had no idea about the potential this would bring the business. The only reason I want the workshop to be over is so I can get back to work and start experimenting. ”

Head of Product Development