Nutrition Innovation Group – Healthier sugar with Nucane Raw

We talked with Marcos Molinaro, Director Regional from Nutrition Innovation Group who shared us about their experience exhibiting at Fi South America and the trends and challenges within the food ingredients market.

Who is Nutrition Innovation Group?

Nutrition Innovation Group focus on healthier sugars. We develop and license healthier products made from sugar cane, and our most recent product is Nucane Raw, which is a low glycemic raw sugar.

Consumption of white sugar is going down everywhere in the world. White sugar is the past and Nucane is the future, this is what we really want to communicate. We are at the commercial stage with this product and we have developed key partnerships with companies who sieve, grind, and package the sugar, selling four different grain sizes.

Nucane Raw is healthier than white sugar, has low GI, is not refined, has active antioxidants, is totally natural, and is GMO free, not to mention it tastes great! This product really is an innovation.

Is this your first time at Fi South America?

No, I attended Fi South America last year with the company founder and the company CEO, and the show by far exceeded our expectations. At the end of three days, we had almost 200 business cards and we ran out of all of our folders and brochures.

I also gave a presentation last year to almost 100 people and the reception was great! Sugar, sodium, and fat are key conversations in the food industry at the moment, so the attendees were really interested in the topic of sugar.

Do you also attend Fispal Tecnologia? If Fi South America and Fispal were held together, would that be of interest to you?

I see a synergy between the two shows, and yes it could be beneficial to run the two together and increase the total potential audience. 

What do you think are the biggest trends or challenges within the market at the moment?

In terms of trends, there is significant sugar reduction in the market. In Brazil, five years ago sugar consumption per capita was 60kg, so every day everyone ate 200g. Now, the consumption per capita is 50kg. Consumption is still high, but it is reducing globally. While people are seeking alternatives to sugar, we are presenting a solution within the sugar market, but we are doing so in an innovative way. For example, in this country sugar sachets are 5g, which is a single serve for a cup of coffee, whereas our sachets are 4g and provide the same sweetness, but with less sugar.

Sustainability is also a key development in the sector. We are clear in what we communicate and how we act. For instance, we are GMO-free which might seem strange to communicate about sugar, but we do this to emphasise sustainability. Even if the customer doesn’t request or feel the need for a food safety certificate, we only license our technology and our trademark to companies that have those certificates.

The key challenges in the sector are technology development and price. The creator of Nucane, Dr David Kannar, is a cardiologist at Monash University near Melbourne, Australia. He invented this product with low GI because a family member died due to obesity and diabetes. To help prevent these kinds of diseases, he created a product that is much healthier than regular sugar, but this meant the price was much higher and the opportunities to help people were minimised. To combat this, one of the guidelines of Nucane is that we sell our licenses and the product at a similar price to refined sugar because we know that price is paramount.

What do you think is the biggest benefit of exhibiting at a show like this?

A big benefit of exhibiting is that almost 100% of the people that come are in the same sector. The quality of the exhibitors and visitors at Fi South America is very high. It is possible to make valuable connections here, for instance, last year we met another company called Vogler and we are now in partnership with them.

What are your main objectives as an exhibitor at Fi South America?

My first objective is to generate new leads. I interact with people and communicate what I think they’ll be interested in and hopefully it will lead to a new client.

Another objective is to expand partnerships, in particular with universities. In Brazil, the cooperation between companies and universities is not very strong. However, as we are also based in Australia we have found that working with universities, in particular Monash University, has been key.

How do you measure the success of an exhibition?

We measure success by the number of leads and the reaction of the visitors.

Will you exhibit with us next year?

It’s very early to say as we need to measure the success of the event this year. But I would highly recommend participants in the food industry to participate in Fi South America. Our experience has been very positive.

Why did you choose Fi South America over other events?

When I joined Nutrition Innovation Group the CEO had already signed us up for Fi South America and we got a really good deal this year. Our CEO really sees the value of exhibitions as part of our marketing and sales actions. As we had a new product this year and are at the commercial stage with it, we thought it would be really beneficial to attend.