Aat Visser, president of Lipid Nutrition, told NutraIngredients.com that the new structure permits more freedom of operation due to a simplified reporting structure. Lipid Nutrition now reports directly to the board of IOI Corporation Berhad in Malaysia, of which Loders Croklaan is a subsidiary.
"Although the day-to-day business won't change, this new business structure brings great opportunities for Lipid Nutrition… We now have increased freedom to grow in our unique area of specialty, and can launch products to market in a stronger, more convincing way," he said.
Internally, the structure gives more transparency and focus, and externally makes it easier to cooperate with other companies and to make acquisitions.
Lipid Nutrition's first acquisition came in March of this year, with PharmaNutrient's CLA One business. Going forward, it is "keeping its eyes open" for suitable acquisition opportunities and capital is available (subject to board approval) from IOI.
The company says that the change is due to the development of Lipid Nutrition over the past seven years. Lipid Nutrition was first established in 1999 as a business unit of Loders Croklaan in order to focus on the nutritional aspects of lipids. At that time it had only one ingredient, Betapol human milk fat substitute for infant formulas, and benefited from the support and fostering that the company could provide.
Whilst not giving specifics, Visser said that in the early years the unit's turnover doubled almost every year. Over time, its product portfolio has swelled with the launch of branded ingredients Clarinol CLA (for weight-management and figure-shaping), Marinol (heart health and brain development), Safflorin (immune health), and PinnoThin (appetite suppressant). Last year turnover increased by 35 per cent.
While double-digit growth is forecast for the current year, the precise level is reliant on overcoming regulatory barriers to marketing, such as health claims and approval for the ingredients to be used in foods.
Visser said that the company sees a lot of growth opportunities in foods, both in the US and in Europe, and entering that market is a goal for most of Lipid Nutrition's ingredients.
New ingredients are also in the pipeline, with launches expected next year. While details are still being kept under wraps, the main areas are cardiovascular health, weight management, and related conditions.
"Despite these corporate changes, our key goals remain the same: to continue providing innovative ingredients that enhance consumers' health and wellness, and to help our customers make the most of their market possibilities," said Visser.