Career Tools

Useful Tips

  • Don't wait until your career is in trouble to look at new opportunities. Exploring other jobs is not a criminal offense and it is not grounds for termination unless you are doing it during your work day to the detriment of performing your assigned duties.
  • It is not easy to find a job. It will require time for you to prepare a resume, research companies and recruiters to make contacts and do follow ups. Budget some money for expenses for mailings and long distance calls.
  • Your mentor should be a successful person involved in your chosen industry, a friend, relative or sought out contact may be willing to coach you through your job search.

Natural Ingredients & Functional Foods Industry Resources

Functional food or medicinal food is any healthy food claimed to have a health-promoting or disease-preventing property beyond the basic function of supplying nutrients The general category of functional foods includes processed or foods fortified with health-promoting additives, like "vitamin-enriched" products. Fermented foods with live cultures are considered as functional foods with probiotic benefits.

Functional foods are foods and food components that provide health benefits beyond basic nutrition. Functional foods do more than just provide nutrients – they may play a role in reducing your risk of disease or in improving your health. These foods include health-promoting ingredients or natural components found in conventional, fortified, enriched or enhanced foods. There are many potential health benefits of consuming functional foods. Nutritional research has shown that eating functional foods on a regular basis, as part of a balanced and varied diet, can enhance health and reduce the risk of many acute and chronic diseases.

Functional foods can be found in your grocery store and you may already have some of them in your refrigerator and pantry! Examples of so-called functional foods include calcium-fortified orange juice and spreads with omega-3 added.

The functional food industry, consisting of food, beverage and supplement sectors, is one of the several areas of the food industry that is experiencing fast growth in recent years. It is estimated by BCC Research that the global market of functional food industry will reach 176.7 billion in 2013

The field of functional foods, however, is in its infancy. Additional research is necessary to substantiate the potential health benefits of those foods for which the diet-health relationships are not sufficiently scientifically validated.The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates claims that manufacturers make about functional foods' nutrient content and effects on disease, health or body function. It's important to note, however, that the FDA doesn't use the term "functional foods." The FDA regulates these types of foods according to whether a food is considered to be a conventional food, a food additive, a dietary supplement, a medical food or a food for special dietary use.

Supply Side and Ingredient Industry:

According to the Natural Ingredient Resource Center the following is the Natural Ingredient Criteria.

Natural Ingredients include plant, animal, mineral or microbial ingredients...

  • present in or produced by nature
  • produced using minimal physical processing
  • directly extracted using simple methods, simple chemical reactions or resulting from naturally occurring biological processes

Natural Ingredients Are...

  • processed in an ecological manner.
  • not produced synthetically.
  • free of all petrochemicals.
  • not extracted or processed using petrochemicals.
  • not extracted or processed using anything other than natural ingredients as solvents.
  • not exposed to irradiation.
  • not genetically engineered & do not contain GMOs (genetically modified organisms).
Natural ingredients do...
  • not contain synthetic ingredients.
  • not contain artificial ingredients including colors or flavoring.
  • not contain synthetic  chemical preservatives.

As the functional foods, supply side and natural ingredient industry grows, so do the opportunities for a job or career in the these industries. Below are more resources to learn more.

Industry Organizations

  1. AACC Functional Foods Online
  2. American Botanical Council
  3. American Herbal Products Association
  4. American Herbal Pharmacopoeia
  5. American Nutraceutical Association
  6. Association For The Specialty Food Trade
  7. Center For Science in the Public Interest
  8. Citizens for Health
  9. Consumer Healthcare Products Association
  10. Council for Responsible Nutrition
  11. Dietary Supplements Education Alliance
  12. Institute of Food Technology
  13. International Alliance of Dietary/Food Supplements Associations
  14. Natural Products Association
  15. Organic Consumers Organization
  16. Organic Trade Association

Industry Publications

  1. Food Product Design
  2. Functional Foods Center
  3. Functional Ingredients Magazine
  4. Inside Comeceuticals
  5. Integrative Practitioner
  6. Natural Foods Merchandiser
  7. Natural Products Insider
  9. Nutraceuticals World
  10. Nutrition Capital Network
  11. Nutrition Industry Executive
  12. Nutritional Journal
  13. Nutritional Outlook
  14. Vitamin Retailer Magazine

Industry Trade Shows

  1. Green Business Conference
  2. Integrative Healthcare Symposium
  3. Natural Products Expo West
  4. Natural Products Expo East
  5. Natural Marketplace
  6. NBJ Summit
  7. NutraCosmetic Summit
  8. Supply Side East
  9. Supply Side West

Additional Resources

  1. Natural Products Buyers Guide

Natural Products Industry Recruiters

  1. Consumer Products Recruiting Specialists
  2. JWoods & Associates---Janet L. Woods
  4. Sanford Rose Associates
  5. Blake, Hansen & Schmidt, Limited
  6. Braun Resources
  7. Dash Advisors
  8. Ed Nallyey Executive Search Intl'l LLC
  9. Inner Circle Sales
  10. Resource Executive Search & Recruitment
  11. PrincetonOne - Kim Mayes
  12. KCO Resource Managment
  13. Search Path of Chicago, Inc.

Additional Resources

  1. Nutritional Products International
  2. Nutritional Products Internation Global Export