Probiotics targeted for growth under new Danisco cultures unit

Related tags Danisco Innovation According to jim

The new cultures unit at Danisco looks set to become a powerful
force in the probiotics sector, gaining additional strains and
entrance to new markets with the acquisition of Rhodia Food,
according to new division chief Fabienne Saadane-Oaks.

Speaking two weeks after the sale of Rhodia Food to Danisco officially closed, Saadane-Oaks noted that while the integration process had revealed many sites producing similar products, there are few synergies across the probiotics portfolios.

Rhodia is considered the leading supplier to dietary supplements, recently launching new technology for better probiotics stability, while Danisco's Howaru​ line has concentrated on fresh dairy produce.

"This really is a very complementary deal, both for Rhodia Food and Danisco,"​ the former president of Rhodia Food said in an interview with "There is no overlap [in probiotics] at the moment."

"We have also discovered that Danisco has a very interesting pipeline and significant capabilities for documenting the health benefits [of their strains],"​ she added.

She referred to the collaboration with the New Zealand dairy institute and the group's EnteroMix tools being developed in Finland for studying gastrointestinal function and health.

"We will have an enlarged product range, with new strains, but also strong research resources to document the health benefits of these, which is of increasing importance to this sector,"​ said Saadane-Oaks.

In addition to the new strains, the new cultures division, to be headquartered in France, has access to a bigger and wider-reaching customer base, particularly in Europe. Rhodia's stronghold in southern France will join Danisco's important presence in northern and central Europe.

The cultures division will inevitably include some similar products however although it is not yet clear which will be thinned out. But this, as well as changing brand names, will be under discussion by marketing teams and customers over coming months.

Meanwhile new product innovation remains a priority, according to Saadane-Oaks.

"Probiotics is really where we want to launch new products. Innovation is one of the paramount drivers of development and growth so will not be looking for cuts here,"​ she said.

She added that the division, still one of the smaller units of Danisco, is seeking to gain a leading position in cultures.

This ambition is driving the integration process, which Saadane-Oaks says is progressing rapidly. "From day two we were able process orders with Danisco invoices. We know exactly where we are going."

Danisco announces its full year results today, including outlook for 2004/05.

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