Martek Biosciences Corporation, creator of the fast-growing life'sDHA(TM) brand of DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), today announced the launch of two new products containing life'sDHA, thereby reaching a major milestone of surpassing 100 food and beverage products worldwide that now incorporate life'sDHA. The announcement comes as the company celebrates yet another milestone, its 15th anniversary as a publicly traded company on the NASDAQ.
Since its listing on the NASDAQ in 1993 as a start-up biotech firm with roots in the NASA long-term space flight program, Martek has become a leading innovator and developer of products derived from microalgae, with more than 500 employees and revenues of approximately $350 million. Martek is also one of the few companies providing high-value nutritional products to successfully secure a brand presence through the appearance of its life'sDHA logo on numerous consumer packaged goods from household name brands such as Minute Maid(R), Horizon Organic(R) milk and Yoplait(R).
"Reaching 100 products enhanced with life'sDHA is an important milestone and we congratulate Martek on this accomplishment," said Gregg Engles, Dean Foods Chairman and CEO. "The addition of this trusted source of DHA helped boost sales of our number one ranked Horizon Organic brand. Martek is a valued partner and we are pleased to be working together to bring this health-enhancing innovation to consumers."
DHA omega-3 is a long-chain omega-3 fatty acid that serves as a primary building block for the brain and the eyes and supports brain, eye and cardiovascular health throughout life. There is a large and growing body of scientific evidence demonstrating that people of all ages benefit from an adequate supply of DHA omega-3 in their diets. Scientific reviews highlight the importance of DHA omega-3 in proper brain and eye development and function, as well as its importance in cardiovascular health. Clinical studies are underway to evaluate the role of DHA in decreasing the prevalence of certain neurological disorders. Leading experts around the world have noted that DHA is an important nutrient for health throughout the life cycle. Yet despite its importance, Americans have among the lowest dietary intakes of DHA omega-3 in the world.
"The most important of the omega-3 fats is DHA. You can get it from algae, also called a vegetarian or plant source," state leading physicians and authors, Drs. Michael Roizen and Mehmet Oz, in their most recent book "You: Being Beautiful, The Owner's Manual to Inner and Outer Beauty" (Free Press).
Fish are often incorrectly thought to be the only source of DHA omega-3. However, life'sDHA offers a trusted, vegetarian form of DHA that contains no oceanic pollutants or toxins. Fish are sources of DHA because of the DHA-rich microalgae in their food chain; life'sDHA is derived directly from microalgae, a renewable, sustainable source of DHA that does not deplete ocean resources, and is produced entirely in the U.S. in an FDA-inspected facility. Today, life'sDHA is found in numerous foods, beverages and supplements for people of all ages. It is also the only source of DHA used in U.S. infant formula and is included in more than 99 percent of all formulas on the U.S. market, as well as in more than 200 brands of infant formula, nutritional supplements and functional foods sold in over 75 countries worldwide.
"A growing number of experts around the world are recognizing the importance of DHA for healthy brains, eyes and hearts. They are also recognizing that most people's diets do not include adequate amounts of DHA. The growing variety of food and beverage products that contain Martek's life'sDHA is providing consumers with great-tasting ways to make sure they are including DHA in their diet," said Steve Dubin, Martek's CEO. "By looking for the life'sDHA logo on food and beverage packages, consumers can be sure they are buying products with a trusted, sustainable, vegetarian source of DHA."
A brand - and a company - on the rise
In addition to holding 99 percent of the U.S. infant formula market for DHA and ARA, Martek has seen rapid expansion in the food and beverage category and beyond. Since 2006 when the ingredient was first introduced in soy beverages, yogurt and yogurt drinks, the range of products into which life'sDHA has been added includes milk, fruit juices, baby foods, sushi, nutrition bars and cheese. This year the brand expanded further into cooking oils, bread, butter, frozen foods, smoothies, meat, meat alternatives and more.
Consumer awareness is gaining as well. September 2008 consumer testing commissioned by Martek and designed and executed by a third-party market research firm indicates that 2008 saw a 22 percent increase in DHA awareness from 50 to 61 percent among health-conscious consumers. Testing also indicated that DHA awareness among households with small children is as high as 78 percent. Awareness of the life'sDHA brand, after only two years in the marketplace, has more than doubled since 2007 from 11 to 28 percent among health-conscious consumers.
Recent market research indicates that omega-3-enriched foods make up the strongest sector of the growing functional foods market in the U.S. Experts have noted that the market for omega-3-enriched foods and beverages has grown from approximately $100 million to more than $2 billion in four years, and have predicted this trend to continue in the future.
Passing the 100 Product Mark: New Products Featuring life'sDHA
-- Pompeian OlivExtra(R) Plus Omega-3 DHA, Canola Oil & Extra Virgin Olive Oil: New OlivExtra Plus from Pompeian Inc. combines robust-tasting premium Pompeian Extra Virgin Olive Oil and mild-tasting canola oil plus 32 mg of omega-3 DHA per serving. It is designed for consumers who want to conveniently reap the brain, eye and heart health benefits of Martek's life'sDHA.
-- Life Balance(TM) Tortillas Fortified with Vitamins and Calcium: New from Mission Foods, one of the nation's largest tortilla manufacturers, Life Balance Tortillas provide life'sDHA as a vegetarian source of DHA omega-3 and as much calcium as a glass of milk.
Martek Biosciences Corporation is a leader in the innovation and development of DHA omega-3 products that promote health and wellness through every stage of life. The company produces life'sDHA, a sustainable and vegetarian source of DHA omega-3, for use in foods, beverages, infant formula and supplements, and life'sARA(TM) (arachidonic acid), an omega-6 fatty acid, for use in infant formula. For more information on Martek Biosciences, visit http://www.martek.com/. For a complete list of life'sDHA products, visit http://www.lifesdha.com/.
Sections of this release contain forward-looking statements. These statements are based upon numerous assumptions which Martek cannot control and involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ. These statements should be understood in light of the risk factors set forth in the company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including, but not limited to, the company's Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended October 31, 2007 and other filed reports on Form 10-K, Form 10-K/A, Form 10-Q and Form 8-K.
Food and beverage brands featuring life'sDHA include: Pompeian OlivExtra(R) Plus Omega-3 DHA, Life Balance(TM) Tortillas, Nutrabella(R) BellyBar(TM), Oh Mama!(TM) bars, Horizon Organic(R) Milk, Silk(R) Plus Soymilk, Mayfield(R) Right Start(TM) Milk, Stremicks Heritage Foods(TM) Milks, So Good(R) Omega DHA Soy Beverage, National Foods Pura(R) Kids Milk, National Foods Berri Australian Fresh Juice, Minute Maid(R) Blueberry Pomegranate Juice, Kroger(R) Active Lifestyle Premium Light Orange Juice Beverage, Boost(R) Juice, Maverick Brands Sunkist(R) Smoothie, Odwalla(R) Soy Smart(TM), Zen Soy(R) Soy on the Go(TM), Rachel's(TM) Wickedly Delicious Yogurt, Yoplait(R) Kids Yogurt, Parmalat(R) Vaalia(R) Yogurt, Priegola Simbi Yogurt Drink, Central Lechera Asturiana's ABC infant yogurt, Pediasure(R), British Biologicals Kids Pro Children's Beverage, Junior Horlicks(TM) Children's Beverage, Mother Horlicks Perinatal Beverage, Bon Appetit Children's Juice Beverage, Beech-Nut(R) Baby Food DHA plus, Plum(TM) Organics Baby Food, Happy Baby(TM) Happy Bellies Baby Food, Hidden Villa Gold Circle Farms(R) Eggs, Marks & Spencer Free Range Omega-3 Eggs, Challenge Dairy Spreadable Butter, Zemiajtos Omega-3 Butter, Cabot Creamery(R)50% Reduced Fat Cheddar Cheese with Omega-3 DHA, Ricos(R) Cheese Sauce, Fujisan(TM) Sushi, Dalco Foods Meat Products, Oroweat(R) 9 Grain Bread, Dempster's Smart Bread, NuGo Organic Nutrition bar, Bija Udo's Choice(R)Dark DHA Omega-3 Truffles, Kellogg's Live Bright(TM) Brain Health Bar, Dr. Dave's Mega-O(TM) Truffle, Starbucks Stella, Starbucks Apple Bran Muffin, Oakdell Farms(R) Omega Eggs, Healthy To Go(R) Omega To Go(TM), Glenny's(R) Cookies, Glenny's(R) Rice Snacks, Nature's Goodness(R) Baby Food, Rafferty's Garden(R) Baby Food, Farm Pride Eggs, Full Circle Omega-3 Blended Yogurts, Tounyu Soy Milk (Japan), Capilano(TM) Honey, 8th Continent Soymilk Complete. For a complete list of products featuring life'sDHA, visit www.lifesdha.com.