Ada, Michigan — In the world of meal replacements, flavorful is second only to fortifying nutrition at Amway.
“It’s a finely-tuned balance between micronutrients, macronutrients and the flavor system,” says Lynne Connor, PhD, formulator for BodyKey by Nutrilite products. “Consumers trust us to develop meal replacement foods that are nutritious and delicious. Both traits must co-exist in healthy ratios to be truly satisfying.”
Process technician Mark Pagel concurs, “In the food lab, we study the holistic consumer experience, from the moment you open a product to how it mixes to how it tastes from first sip to last drop.” They collaborate with consumer research experts to optimize critical characteristics such as aroma, flavor and viscosity.
“We’re a global company that strives for universal formulas that can be fine-tuned by market and regulatory demands,” adds Connor. “Consumer preferences vary greatly around the world – the Americas prefer a sweeter, thicker shake, while Asian markets like less sweet, thin products.”
Meeting those markers begins with a comprehensive flavor matrix, adds Pagel. “Unlike supplements, which are swallowed quickly, beverages are consumed over time, making aesthetics more important. So we identify which ingredients complement one another. For example, our vanilla BodyKey™ shake combines multiple vanilla flavors to create great taste and aroma.”
Their greatest challenge? Chocolate. “We tested hundreds of flavors – dark, milk, cherry and everything in between,” admits Connor. “We partnered with three flavor houses to find a natural cocoa powder with a balanced aroma and taste that played nice with other ingredients.”
The result? A chocolate flavor new to the Nutrilite brand – and more of it.
“Five of the 30 grams per serving are cocoa powder. It’s positively decadent.”