Fortitech has been present in South America since 1999, with its regional base in Campinas, Brazil. But the company said that average production of the division has increase by more than 100 per cent in the last two years. Nor does it look likely to stop there, with 2006 projections showing "substantial overall production increases" compared to last year.
"South America's functional food demand is soaring and it was this steady stream of business and opportunity that enabled us to focus on ways to invest in the future," said director of Fortitech South America Juarez Rech. "Adding sales staff made the most sense."
The company has made two new sales appointments: Rafael Leite, who holds a degree in food engineering, becomes regional sales manager; and érica Spiandore, who has a background in business marketing, will work closely with Leite.
According to Euromonitor International, the South American functional foods market was worth US$4.25bn, up 15.9 per cent on the previous year and the third consecutive year of double-digit growth.
According to Fortitech's in-house research, the hottest ingredients in South America include botanicals, soy proteins and isoflavones. The fastest growing products in South America include supplements, juices and powdered beverages and the top health conditions that are being addressed by South American consumers and businesses include primary heath issues, digestive health and immunity.
In addition to the manufacturing and laboratory facility in Brazil which now has a staff count of 36, Fortitech has two facilities in the US, one in Denmark covering Europe, Africa and Russia, one in Malaysia covering Asia and Australia, and a distribution facility in Mexico.