Finnish food, feed and ingredients company Raisio has committed to diversifying its functional foods portfolio with investment that includes a new plant and facilities, increased R&D funding, and a new range of oat- and soy-based products to be launched within a year.
?Our plan is to concentrate on functional and healthy food, and we have stated that we will be developing more value-added products, which these types of products are good examples of,? said Taru Narvanmaa, executive vice president of communications and investor relations. ?We have been marketing and delivering some soy and oat products under the brand name Beneviva, which has been marketed in Finland and Sweden only. They are being made in Sweden under licence, but we will take over that production, and we plan to launch new oat and soy products early next year. We have not yet decided whether these new products will go under the Beneviva range.?
She said the new range would open up new avenues. ?This is a good way for us to move into new production technologies. So far we have mostly concentrated on dry products and this is an opening into fresh production. Snacks, breakfast products, yoghurts are phase two.?
Raisio will invest $6.5 million fitting out a new plant to be rented from Finnish dairy giant Valio, with specialist production and packaging equipment. It will employ up to 20 people.
Raisio?s most prominent brand is the stanol ester-fortified range, Benecol, said Narvanmaa. ?The brand is an open question at this stage,? she said. ?There is an opportunity for our research and development to start innovating new products using our stanol ester ingredients currently used exclusively in our Benecol range.?