The importance of positioning

Esther Mills-Roberts
Communications Manager, Health Food Manufacturers’ Association

We all know it. Where things are positioned matters. Whether it’s stock on-shelf, messaging around a brand, or amongst the people we know, there is no escaping the fact that being in the right place at the right time is paramount.

This is something that the HFMA is unashamedly good at, and forms an essential part of what we do; nurturing continued dialogue with key movers and shakers in many different ways; at policy level, through our partnership working and with other industry, trade and regulatory bodies.

And right here, right now – within the post-Brexit fallout – we’re calling for a more common-sense approach to regulation of a group of products that are as popular as they are researched. The much mentioned ‘Probiotics’.

We’ve been talking about the odd position that these products find themselves in for quite some time, with their descriptive term being prohibited as a non-authorised health claim, based only on some non-binding guidance issued by the European Commission nearly 15 years ago! Meanwhile, scientific papers, consumer messaging and popular understanding is that ‘probiotic’ is exactly what they are.

When you look for another consumer analogy, it seems so obvious. Imagine a hardware store (EU Ltd) that comes under new ownership (UK Inc). The staff get together to say, “We’ve been thinking for some time about something that really needs to be changed. People keep asking for hammers, and we’re only allowed to give them a ‘metallic implement with a weighted end’. It’s so confusing for them. Can we please sell them a ‘hammer’?”.

So it is with probiotics, which play such an important part in maintaining good health, and which form such a significant sector of our industry. It’s time to address this with logical thought, good science and partnership-working.

Recently, we’ve been seeing new Whitehall initiatives emerge and reading new parliamentary reports that promote business innovation and regulation that is proportionate. We also desire a regulatory regime that is fit for purpose, with the consumer uppermost in mind.

We’re making sure that we’re in best position so that our industry’s products will be appropriately recognised.

Tel: 0208 481 7100
Email: hfma@hfma.co.uk

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