Reducol, the GM-free, kosher-certified, cholesterol-lowering ingredient from Canadian plant sterol/stanol specialist Forbes Medi-Tech will hit the shelves of French supermarket giant Carrefour in a range of yoghurts under Carrefour's Agir Nutrition brand.
This marks Forbes' fourth major supermarket deal in European markets following similar arrangements with other retailers in Finland, the UK and the Netherlands. As in those markets, Carrefour will sell its products at a discount compared to branded competitors such as Flora pro.activ, Raisio's Benecol and Danone's Danacol.
A survey of the French population aged 18-70 found 59 per cent of men and 41 per cent of women were concerned about cholesterol, with 40 per cent stating they had taken a cholesterol-related problem to a doctor in the past two years. Seven per cent said they had consumed nutraceuticals or functional foods to regulate cholesterol levels. Reuters Business Insight has stated cholesterol-lowering foods will be the most profitable health foods business by 2009.
Carrefour is Europe's biggest retailer with more than 12,000 stores in 29 countries. Leading UK retailer Tesco launched its Reducol-fortified cholesterol-lowering yoghurt range at the beginning of 2006 after sales of branded equivalents surged 22% across its 2,300 stores in 2005. It has not released figures for its new range.
Forbes Medi-Tech investor relations manager Darren Seed said Forbes was turning its attention to the US, where the cholesterol-lowering foods market is a fraction of the European market.