New ingredient alliances make sense

Companies are teaming up to hasten and expand market offerings

International A spate of alliance announcements in recent months promises product diversification, marketing and formulation synergies, and massive cost savings to companies willing to be team players.

DSM and Kemin decide to work together on lutein. Ocean Nutrition Canada and PL Thomas (PLT) develop a fish-oil/vitamin-K combination product. Linnea and Artmeis lock arms on an elderberry-based sports extract. LycoRed teams up with Spanish flavour house BTSA to innovate around lycopene.

Deals such as these — and there are more — enable companies to draw value from partnering on matters of science, formulation, marketing, distribution and more. Often the result is an innovative ingredient that may not have reached market, or at least not as quickly, had an alliance not been formed.

Take the case of Ocean Nutrition Canada and PL Thomas. The product they have launched is the first of its kind. "We partnered with PLT to create a unique and complementary product," said Nova Scotia-based ONC president and CEO, Robert Orr. PL Thomas president, Robert Flowerman, observed that by partnering, ONC and PL Thomas strengthened their standing as companies that were serious about science and innovation.

Israel-based LycoRed wanted a strong Spanish partner and so chose BTSA, which will provide an instant distribution network on the Iberian peninsula. BTSA will also be involved in product development, incorporating LycoRed's lycopene ingredients as well as marketing strategies. Other alliances inked of late include SoftGel and Kaneka getting together on co-Q10, and Lipid Nutrition and Proctor & Gamble announcing a joint sauces, soups and spreads ingredients suite.

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