Firm launches new health claims advisory service

by Samantha Woodhill15 Jan 2016
IP specialist firm James & Wells is set to launch a health claims advisory service as the new food standards regulation deadline approaches.

The new service line will help food and beverage companies to ensure they remain competitive while remaining compliant with the new rules, which require health claims to be backed by certain pre-approved nutritional profiles.

“We will be processing self-substantiated ‘general level’ health claims on behalf of our clients,” Peter Brown, the firm’s food and beverage IP team head, told NZ Lawyer.

“This will give innovative F&B companies an unprecedented commercial advantage for marketing their unique products, and to stand out from their competitors.  

“We see it as a highly valuable form of IP specifically geared to the food industry.”

He said that as an IP firm, the new James & Wells service will look to help food and beverage businesses to strategize and identify branding, packaging and advertising opportunities, in order to stand out in the market place.
“Kiwis need to see the new regulations as an opportunity rather than a hurdle,” Brown said.

“A health claim allows a premium charge on a product, making it a valuable asset to any food and beverage business.  The asset can be built into a business’ brand strategy and leveraged in alternative revenue streams such as licensing agreements and exit strategies.

“It is still early days, but we’ve had positive feedback that it is a much needed initiative,” he added.

According to the firm, there are many companies who may not comply with the new regulation, despite the three-year lead up and are warned to act fast.

“Not only do these regulations bring New Zealand more in line with international standards, the health claims will be an asset to Kiwi exporters as it will create a point of difference, continuing to build New Zealand’s reputation as a quality source of products,” managing partner and trade mark expert Carrick Robinson said.