Solbar confirms plans for US expansion
over a new production site in the US, a region that accounts for
half of its prospective market, reports Dominique Patton.
"We will set up shop in the US, it is only a question of whether it takes place this year or in 2006," Gary Brenner, vice president of marketing and sales at Solbar, told NutraIngredients.com.
"We are negotiating with the state of Ohio for a site outside Cleveland. The decision on whether to go ahead will be made by September."
The company is the third biggest provider of soy proteins, after soy heavyweights Solae and ADM, both based in the US. However it feels that its small size allows it to concentrate on innovative products and focus on key issues for food makers such as the colour of the soybeans, which is affected by the soil in different regions.
Producing in the US would allow the firm to move closer to new clients and also its raw material source, 90 per cent of which comes from Brazil with the remainder from the US.
The firm that has been growing by around 30 per cent on an annual basis for the last 10 years also started production at its new Chinese factory this week. The facility will eventually export soy concentrates to the rest of Asia Pacific and possibly the Latin American markets, said Brenner.
And it offers Solbar additional capacity to meet growing sales from all regions.
Solbar's expansion reflects the continued strong demand for soy ingredients across a number of industries. The Israeli company provides functional soy concentrates to the animal feed industry, as well as for use in the meat sector, processed foods, nutraceutical products and cosmetics.
"Isolated proteins are growing by 7-8 per cent," explained Brenner.
Despite the declining supply of non-GMO soy, he claims that other issues such as the colour and quality of the beans are currently more pressing.
Other firms are however warning that prices for soy ingredients such as lecithin are set to rise in the second half of the year due to the pressure on non-GM stocks.