LAVAL, QC, June 19 /CNW/ - Neptune Technologies & Bioressources Inc.
(Neptune) is pleased to announce a strategic partnership with Yoplait, a
worldwide leader in the dairy industry. On June 8th 2007 the companies signed
an agreement to research and develop new functional fresh dairy products for
According to the terms of their agreement, Neptune and Yoplait will
proceed to complete the development of flavoursome dairy products containing
Neptune Krill Oil (NKO(TM)) which will be clinically tested for their effect
on widely prevalent chronic conditions. Yoplait's intention is to first launch
the approved products in strategically chosen countries followed by a
worldwide roll out. Neptune will supply its NKO(TM) and will also be receiving
an upfront fee followed by milestone payments and distribution royalties.
"This alliance endorses Neptune's strategic development and it also
represents a major achievement in the functional food business with a world
leading food company," said Mr. Henri Harland, President and CEO at Neptune.
"Since the creation of Neptune the functional food market has been key to the
company's strategy. Neptune has been developing its product (NKO(TM)) to be
well positioned and in compliance with new regulatory requirements, the first
of which will be enforced in Europe by July 2007. Furthermore, in order to
achieve Neptune's business plan, we always recognize the importance of
partnering with international leaders who are able to conduct required
clinical studies and invest in huge advertising campaigns to demonstrate the
real value of our product (NKO(TM)) in functional food. These are the keys to
success in the functional food market," added Mr. Henri Harland.
"I am convinced that the partnership between Neptune and Yoplait will
contribute to develop products which will bring, significant health related
benefits to the consumers without compromising on great taste. The combined
know-how of both companies will create a strong competitive advantage for
Yoplait in the FDP (fresh dairy product) market," said Mr. Lucien Fa,
President of Yoplait.
"Dairy represents more than 25% of the functional food market worldwide
with approximately US$16 billion annual sales. Dairy is also the most
developed category in the functional food industry including blockbusters like
"Becel pro.activ" of Unilever, "Activia" and "Actimel" of Danone, billionaire
brands that have set the standard in functional food. Forming an alliance with
a company of the stature of Yoplait not only increases the credibility of
Neptune but also opens the door of the functional food market to Neptune,"
said Mr. Thierry Houillon, Vice President of Business Development, Functional
Food at Neptune. "Every NKO-Yoplait product launched has the potential to
achieve annual sales for Yoplait of US$200 million within five years and more
than US$500 million by the tenth year," added Mr. Houillon.
"During the last two years, Yoplait R&D has supplied consumers the best
combinations of great taste and excellent nutritional balance through a
complete renovation of its entire product range. This new partnership
illustrates Yoplait's strategic ambition to enter into the functional food
market with products which have demonstrated their functionality in clinical
research of the highest standard. Yoplait will focus as a priority on
ingredients of natural origin which have shown a clinically proven potential,"
said Dr. Alexandre Voirin, Vice President R&D and Quality at Yoplait.
"Our partnership with Yoplait gives Neptune the opportunity to confirm
within a food matrix the efficacy and superiority of NKO(TM) as compared to
other omega-3 and antioxidant products in the functional food market," said
Dr. Tina Sampalis, Vice President R&D and Business Development at Neptune.
"NKO(TM) is entering the functional food world at the most opportune time when
increasingly stringent regulations demand clinical validation of the
therapeutic effect of the final food product as well as strict corroboration
of their safety and stability," added Dr. Sampalis.
The Yoplait Group is the second largest company worldwide in fresh dairy
products. More than 15,000 Yoplait products are consumed every minute
worldwide. The Yoplait brand is present in 45 countries around the world.
Annual Yoplait sales, mainly in yogurt, reached (euro) 2.7 billion in 2006.
About Neptune Technologies & Bioressources Inc.
Neptune Technologies & Bioressources Inc. develops high value added
nutritional products from underexploited marine biomasses, such as krill, with
its patented extraction process (Neptune OceanExtract(TM)). Using an exclusive
process, Neptune Technologies & Bioressources Inc. is well positioned in the
$182 billion global nutrition market (Nutrition Business Journal,
Oct/Nov 2004) of health and wellness concepts.
Natural biomass extraction is now playing an important role in developing
nutrigenomics, the next wave in nutritional research. Through strategic
alliances and partnerships, as well as through clinical studies, the Company
continues to demonstrate the immense beneficial effects of these products. The
Company develops and markets new formulas and new products for specific
applications in high growth markets such as the nutraceutical, cosmeceutical,
biopharmaceutical and nutrigenomics markets.