By Amanda Allvin
We would like to welcome Dr. Lesley Stevenson as the newest member of HMT’s global taskforce.
Lesley brings a wealth of experience in the APAC region to HMT, having worked for industry leaders such as GSK Nutrition, Fonterra and most recently with Abbott Nutrition. As a strategic innovation and R&D specialist, she has supported the launch of many products across the world and her passion sits especially with brands.
In order for you to get to know Lesley a little bit better we have made a welcoming interview with her:
Welcome Lesley! Tell me, why did you choose to join the HMT Task Force?
When I started in R&D, the consumer was not highest priority in the innovation process. But that has changed now and developing products with the consumer first and foremost in mind is now second nature. That brings the link to HMT and why I wanted to become part of the team: at HMT we focus on the consumer.
Science and technology and how to leverage them via brands is also a focus of HMT, and a real sweet spot and passion for me. I am looking forward to taking part in utilising the team’s wealth of knowledge of best practice in innovation from across the world.
In joining HMT in their APAC hub, I will bring insights gained from my extensive experience in the Asian markets to our clients and their brands.
How do you define successful innovation?
To me innovation is about making things better or more effective and when it comes to food and nutrition products, successful innovation is mirrored in products that meet consumers’ needs and which fit in with their lives and aspirations, resulting in repeat purchase.
What do you see as the most important growth opportunities in the Asia Pacific area?
The growing trend of consumer interest in preventative or self-management of health and wellness is an opportunity for the APAC region. This combined with raised awareness through some government campaigns in the region around obesity and type-2 diabetes creates a key space for future innovation.
How do we provide a variety of foods, beverages and dietary supplements that help consumers deal with health and wellness issues as they age? What can we do in the kids nutrition space that can help create good eating habits that will see kids through to adulthood? Consumer preferences are diverse across the APAC region and this must be taken into consideration, but one thing is for sure: ageing does not discriminate wherever you live.
What do you see are the most important questions for the global food and beverage industry?
Traceability and food security are undoubtedly major issues for the industry and here consumer trust is easily lost or never gained. Sustainability of ingredients is also a big concern as more and more products start to incorporate naturally derived ingredients.
Global harmonisation of health claims would be a vision for me. Consumer safety is paramount – but anything that could be done to allow more people worldwide to get access to nutritional products and dietary supplements would be beneficial.
What do you see are the biggest trends in the Nutrition, Health and Wellness transformation that is taking place?
One of the key areas to watch in the future – it’s already on the map – is the link between the human microbiome and microbiota, and health and wellness. We are learning more in this area and new products will emerge that can modulate the microbiome to help consumers manage many aspects of their health and wellness.
Thanks Lesley, and once again welcome to the team!
Would you like to get in contact with Lesley?
Tel: +64 27 948 9705