Two launches in Ireland indicate direction of global giant's ambitions in nutrition' Glanbia places its faith in the development of nutriceuticals Kit Davies, Dublin Glanbia is convinced the key growth area for dairy lies in nutriceuticals' occupying the territory half way between regular foodstuffs and medicines. It is ploughing investment into technological innovation in the belief that added value products of this nature will become mainstream rather than a premium niche. And the Irish giant (formerly Avonmore Waterford Group) is now likely to intensify competition in the functional dairy sector in Britain, where it will be up against such players as Danone, Yakult, Campina and Müller in an emerging market that ranges from organic and bio through to more overtly functional drinks and yogurts. Glanbia believes it can boost "health and wellness" appeal by including milk mineral complexes and vitamins. Ambitions for the UK are hinted at following the arrival in the Irish market last year of two functional products. The first, which appeared on shelves in September, was Petits Filous + Calcium. The calcium element itself is enhanced here ­ Glanbia terms it Trucal real calcium from milk', as the product is enriched with phosphorus and magnesium. Just two 60g pots deliver a triple action effect to provide your child with 22% of their calcium RDA,' according to the packaging. The second launch, on sale in Ireland since December, is Everybody', a probiotic yogurt drink that Glanbia terms "a health and wellness product". The Yoplait +15 sub branding on the 90g plastic bottle flags up 15 vitamins and minerals. Ten health benefits of the vitamins and LGG are listed on the side of the bottle including healthy blood and heart, good vision and healthy nervous system'. "The nutrition trend is coming our way and it is unstoppable," said group director of communications Michael Patten. "Globally Glanbia will be a leader in understanding how we incorporate nutitional elements into dairy. We are looking at moving up the value chain. In the past we were no better than anyone else but we have improved our capability, and have created a global virtual network of marketing and npd which we call The Innovation Factory." Patten stressed that the two products on Irish shelves so far were "just the start". "Petits Filous with Trucal has done very well in Ireland, though it is obviously early days for Everybody." {{CANNED GOODS }}