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Capabilities / Functional Foods & Beverages

Functional Foods & Beverages

Providing the vital legal and regulatory perspectives needed to develop sound, comprehensive product strategies.

Optimal categorization of a functional food or beverage product is part art and part science. Our team assists clients with these difficult determinations at all stages of product development and commercialization, linking legal and regulatory solutions to each client’s business objectives.

We work with some of the largest food companies in the world, as well as with innovative startups looking to introduce category-busting concepts to the marketplace. Our team advises the leaders of functional food and beverage business operations on the complexities of FDA compliance, federal and state regulations, and how each decision in a product’s lifecycle impacts subsequent activities, including packaging, labeling, marketing, and advertising.

Our food industry lawyers have counseled clients in connection with products marketed as conventional foods, food additives, dietary supplements, medical foods, and drugs, and we rely on our deep knowledge of the food systems industry to provide comprehensive advice and regulatory counsel concerning new and legacy products.

Representative Experience

Regulatory & Advertising

  • Assisted non-alcoholic wine manufacturer in obtaining trademarks
  • Advised beverage companies within the cannabis industry on compliance with state laws.
  • Provided regulatory roadmap for launch of “mindful” beverage company and its products.
  • Counseled low/no alcohol wine, seltzer, and cocktail brand owners on labeling and advertising requirements.
  • Assisted “drink stick” company in ingredient and labeling review for product prior to launch.
  • Evaluated product for categorization as conventional food, food for special dietary use, or medical food.
  • Assisted various “nutraceutical,” “adaptogen,” and “nootropics” ingredient suppliers to determine safety and suitability of ingredient for use in conventional foods or dietary supplements as well as whether product GRAS.
  • Guided start-up energy drink company in formulation, FDA labeling, and substantiation of claims for products.
  • Reviewed marketing materials for food company positioning with “food as medicine” focus. 
  • Advised herbal-based company on whether product could be marketed as a food, dietary supplement, or botanical drug.
  • Evaluated substantiation and legality of “adaptogen” claim on various consumer products including beverages, pet supplements, and dietary supplements.
  • Represented functional food manufacturer with Federal Trade Commission inquiry regarding scientific substantiation for structure/function and other health related advertising of dietary supplement.
  • Assisted herbal supplement company in recall of products due to formulation error by contract manufacturer and potential health hazard.
  • Developed and trained supplement company on label management

Commercial Contracting

  • Drafted standard terms and conditions company conducting business-to-business sales of dietary supplements.
  • Advised food, beverage, and supplement manufacturers regarding contract provisions for recall coverage, safety requirements, and quality standards for use with branded company customers.
White Papers | December 01, 2023
The Future of Functional Foods

Following the social isolation and public health concerns associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, many Americans reevaluated their health and wellness priorities, creating new opportunities for food systems companies to connect with changing consumer tastes and preferences.