Cognis announces natural carotenoid price increases

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Antioxidant Carotene Vitamin a

Cognis Nutrition & Health has announced the first price
increase in three years for its Betatene natural mixed carotenoids,
as the company offsets escalating production costs.

The increase, set to be in the range of 10 to 14 per cent depending on the form, is effective for Betatene orders placed to ship after January 28, 2008, said the company.

Cognis said that the price increases were due to a collection of factors, including manufacturing, energy, raw materials, packaging, transportation, fuel, and currency exchanges.

"This price increase reflects the higher costs necessary to deliver the consistently high-quality Betatene products our customers expect," stated Rob Bailey, marketing manager, Cognis Nutrition & Health.

Bailey told that the price increases are only confined to the US at present, but since the factors behind the increase are global similar increases globally should not be unexpected in the future.

According to the company, the mix of carotenoids found in Betatene - beta carotene, alpha carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin and cryptoxanthin - is similar to that present in many fruits and vegetables.

The carotenoids are derived from a natural source - the marine alga, Dunaliella salina , grown on a cultivated algae farm on the Indian and Southern Oceans of Australia.

"As the world's leading supplier of algae-based natural beta-carotene, Cognis maintains two sites in Australia to secure supply using innovative, proprietary technology to produce the finest quality carotenoids with excellent stability," said Bailey.

He also told this website that the increases were in no way related to this algal process, but on the performance of the US dollar versus its Australian counterpart, and transportation costs.

Betatene can be used for carotenoid fortification and for contributing vitamin A to snacks, energy bars, sports drinks and other foods.

For dietary supplement manufacturers, Betatene can be used in single supplements, for products designed for particular market segments such as skin supplements, or as part of multivitamin and antioxidant formulations.

Financial performance Last November, Cognis reported that net sales for the nine months ending in September were up 3.9 percent to $3.9bn (€2.65bn), which represented growth of 6 percent in organic terms - excluding the effects of currency exchange, divestments and acquisitions.

Moreover, its nutrition and health arm experienced an increase in sales for in its third quarter 2007 result of 4.4 percent to $368m (€251m).

Results for the first six months of 2007, announced in August, showed overall sales of $2.7bn (€1.8bn) with an operating result of €214m despite a "massive rise" in costs, especially for natural oils and fats.

Nutrition and Health recorded sales of $255m (€174m), a 6.2 percent rise on the first half year of 2006.

The growth was largely attributable to products for the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries, and the carotenoids and vitamin E businesses.

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