Identification of Need
Majority of the pregnant women in Australia are suffering from iodine deficiency. A research in Australia indicates more than 50% of the pregnant women in the country are lacking iodine which puts the development of the foetus’ brain at risk (Iodine Global Network, 2018). Underdevelopment of the foetus brain leads to poorer intelligence and increases the risks of difficulties in learning. Despite the deficiency of iodine in pregnant women being prevalent, there aren’t any common foods that meet the iodine content required by pregnant women. A pregnant woman requires an average of 220µg per day, however, common foods provide up to 160µg only (Nutrition Australia, 2018). Icy pole can be made to meet the requirements of pregnant women.
It is therefore evident that foods rich in iodine are on high demand by pregnant women in order to avoid the risk of mental retardation in the baby. Iodine deficiency also leads to goitre which is a condition whereby the neck swells due to the broadening of the thyroid gland (Pehrsson, et al., 2016). The necessity of iodine in pregnant women is inevitable.
The food product ‘Icy Pole’ is a fundamental requirement in the supply iodine content to pregnant women. Icy Pole is the solution towards the problem of iodine deficiency in pregnant women. Government support and validation is the only lacking component in the production of Icy Pole. Scientifically, Icy Pole is healthy for consumption in terms of iodine supply to pregnant women. However, there are barriers that are likely to affect the production of Icy Pole. Rallying the targeted group (pregnant women) to consume this food product will be difficult. The safety of some of the components of the food product, for instance, amino acids has to subject to question for a long time. The food production has not been tested and proven to be successful and effective yet and considering that pregnant women are a delicate species, most of them or rather all of them might not be willing to try out this new food product. Lack of knowledge about iodine and its importance to the growth and brain development of the foetus is also a barrier to consumption of Icy Pole (Goodall, et al., 2013).
Commercial and Marketing Considerations
Intellectual Property Issues
There are very many copyrights on dairy products that are active in Australia. Dairy products contain high levels of iodine. However, there are no copyrights, neither nationally or internationally, regarding iodine and icy pole production. Patents will be used in order to avoid infringements in the production of this food product (Food Standards Autsralia New Zealand, 2016). Production rights will exclusively prevent illegal production by other people. The product name intended; ‘Icy Pole’ is not registered under any company in Australia therefore it may be produced and consumed without infringing on intellectual property rights at all.
Compliance with Government Regulations
Considering that ‘Icy Pole’ will be sold as an Iodine rich product, it must comply with Standard 2.1.1 of the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code that fortifies iodine inclusion in food production especially bread (Food Standards Autsralia New Zealand, 2016). The government introduced mandatory fortification of iodine in order to address the increasing issue of Iodine deficiency in Australia, more so in pregnant women. Increased iodine in diets on food products is not likely to harm individuals who are sensitive to iodine therefore it is safe to the general population. The risk if the fortification of iodine is very low across the general population. Icy Pole requires a maximum of 220µg fortification of iodine in order to meet the average quantity required by pregnant women daily (Goodall, et al., 2013). This will enable the food product meet the nutrient claims of Australian health officers. Icy Pole requires market clearance since it cannot be sold before it is approved by the Australian food standards department. Several information and labelling requirements will also be needed before the product is manufactured.
Consumer Acceptance and Education
Rising demand of iodine rich products in Australia by pregnant women is an advantage to the food product (Hynes, et al., 2018). However, consumers should be informed on the advantages of Icy Pole in iodine supply over other products such as bread.
Advantages to the Consumer
Icy Pole is expected to improve the health outcomes of children to women who consume the product. The risk of mental retardation, low intelligence levels, poor metabolism and swollen thyroid glands in children is greatly reduced (Nutrition Australia, 2018). The food product provides consumers with a definite option of iodine supply especially the pregnant women.
Disadvantages to the Consumer
The other ingredients of the food products such as amino acids might not be safe for consumption by the targeted group (Wong, 2018). Apart from that, the food product is likely to be expensive considering that it is a perfect solution for iodine supply to those suffering from the deficiency of iodine as well as goitre.
Advantages and Disadvantages to the Producer
Icy Pole is likely to benefit manufacturers in terms of profits and sales since it is evident that iodine rich products are in demand among the pregnant women which is the main group targeted by manufacturers of the product (Pehrsson, et al., 2016).
On the other hand, manufacturers are also likely to encounter barriers while manufacturing the food product. Being a new product in the market, a market clearance is required. The costs of marketing and that of the ingredients are also likely to be high. The manufacturers therefore risk incurring losses.
Feasible Plan to Address the Identified Issues
The strategies needed to solve the imminent barriers include submitting an application the Australian department in charge of food standards for a market approval. Using the press as an advertisement tool is likely to boost the products sales and avoid other unnecessary marketing costs. Buying the ingredients from cheap suppliers is also important. The manufactures could also conduct further research on the product before releasing it to the public (Food Standards Autsralia New Zealand, 2016). A crusade just for launching the product should be organized in order to increase the consumers’ knowledge of the product and make them accept the product.
Conclusion and Future Considerations:
Icy Pole is a food product that targets pregnant women in Australia. Further research should be conducted on the product in order to have a scientific backing while manufacturing the product. Partnership with other companies could as well be sought in order to increase sales. Incorporation of consumer friendly ingredients would address the issue of possible side effects to the target group (Food Standards Autsralia New Zealand, 2016). Appropriate and satisfactory advertising will address the issue of consumer acceptance.
Food Standards Autsralia New Zealand, 2016. Iodine fortification, s.l.: Food Standards Autsralia New Zealand.
Goodall, S., Norman, R. & Gallego, G., 2013. Cost-effectiveness Analysis of Iodine Fortification in Australia and New Zealand, Sydney: Centre for Health Economics Research and Evaluation.
Hynes, K. L. et al., 2018. Iodine adequacy in Tasmania sustained after 7 years of mandatory bread fortification. Medical Journal Australia, 208(3).
Iodine Global Network, 2018. Iodine Global Network. [Online]
Available at: www.ign.org/half-of-pregnant-women-in-australia-may-be-iodine-deficient.htm
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Nutrition Australia, 2018. Nutrition Australia. [Online]
Available at: www.nutritionaustralia.org
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Pehrsson, P. R. et al., 2016. Iodine in food- and dietary supplement- composition databases. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 104(3).
Simpong, D. L. et al., 2018. High Iodine Deficiency among Pregnant Women in Periurban Ghana: A Hospital-Based Longitudanal Study. Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism, Volume 2018, pp. 1-5.
Wong, C., 2018. Are Amino Acids Safe in Pregnancy. verywellfamily.