Making a genuine difference in lives of people across the globe. That is what FrieslandCampina is all about. How? By creating high-quality products that help us grow older and healthier. Our employees understand how their roles affect this bigger picture. In this blog, Floor tells us how she contributes to a better world in her role as Marketing Director Medical Nutrition.
The world of medical nutrition
Meet Floor van der Horst. She’s been working at FrieslandCampina for 5.5 years now. Fascinated by the impact of nutrition on health and recovery, Floor has immersed herself in the world of medical nutrition. “People are becoming increasingly aware of what nutrition does for their bodies when they are ill. That’s a good thing. The number of patients looking for food with nutritional value keeps growing. This rising demand calls for innovative dairy solutions.”
Palatable food with nutritional value
The fact that people are getting older now more than ever provides increasing health challenges. With age unfortunately comes disease, meaning you need more nutritional support. Floor:
The main issue we are concerned with is always: what can we do to make food more tolerable without compromising on nutritional value?
“Imagine you’re severely ill. Obviously, you are not in the mood to eat or drink, but you need to in order to recover and heal. Providing you with both a nutritionally high quality product that also has an acceptable taste is a great challenge, because palatability and nutritional value rarely go hand in hand. We’re looking for new, innovative ways to be nutritionally efficient.”
Making an impact as a marketer
Putting herself in someone else’s shoes is something Floor does every day. The end product needs to answer to the consumer’s needs. But the voice of the patient (consumer) is not the only one Floor listens to. “I need to maintain contact with our partner, the brand owner, and with the influencer too – this can be a doctor, pharmacist or hospital. It’s like a golden triangle. I listen to all their needs very carefully. We listen to their wishes, look at the latest developments in the market and translate all that into a fitting solution.”
On behalf of FrieslandCampina, Floor travels to countries overseas on a regular basis. In order to be able to serve foreign markets, Floor needs to understand cultural differences. Gaining more insight into the social systems in different countries takes a lot of research. “For instance, people in Asia prefer warm drinks and most of them don’t like sweet drinks. This calls for a different approach. We need to adjust our product range to their culture.”
Looking at things from different angles requires understanding and empathy; characteristics Floor clearly possesses. The issues her department faces are often quite complex. "The variety of serious intellectual questions makes my job academically challenging. I feel privileged to make this part of my daily job."