The Market Penetration Award, given by research firm Frost & Sullivan, recognised Allied Biotech's strong performance in capturing market share from the leading European carotenoid players Roche (now DSM Nutritional Products) and BASF.
"Allied has done this by adopting competitive pricing and servicing strategies, which have challenged the traditional duopoly," said Frost & Sullivan food research manager Anna Ibbotson.
Allied is a relatively new entrant to the synthetic beta-carotene segment with its nature-identical product but along with Roche and BASF, it currently controls around 90 per cent of the $138 million European beta-carotene market.
The company is on course to expand its 6 per cent share of the market at the expense of its two closest competitors, according to Frost & Sullivan. Expansion will be driven by the company's positioning as a viable alternative to the traditional synthetic beta-carotene duopoly of Roche and BASF and through the introduction of novel high quality beta-carotene and other carotenoids products.
"Allied has quickly established product awareness, and has gained market share using distribution agreements, which by-passed the traditional channels," added Ibbotson.Strong promotion of its Altratene brand has allowed Allied to effectively address the issue of low consumer awareness about beta-carotene and its health benefits. Frost & Sullivan added that it had taken a refreshingly 'out-of-the-box' approach to distribution.
Allied distributes its products in Europe through Belgium's Helm Benelux, allowing the company to successfully enter and consolidate its presence in the European beta-carotene market before setting up its own European company Allied Biotech Europe in summer 2002. It is based in Karlsruhe, Germany, one of the biggest markets for the carotenoid. Allied has succesfully expanded its European distribution network including several distributors specialised in food ingredients.
Growth in beta-carotene is being driven by the booming beverage sector, which uses the ingredient for colour. The food supplements directive is likely however to reduce quanitites of beta-carotene that can be used in supplements, presenting an obstacle to growth.
The award was based on market share gain (Allied had the largest gain in market share over the past two to three years), increase in sales and brand awareness efforts within the European beta-carotene industry. Companies were ranked following extensive primary and secondary research among market participants and end-users.