Dispatches from FIE 2011

VP on Bio Serae and CNI merger: “It was difficult for the customer to understand who we were”

By Shane Starling

- Last updated on GMT

When French firm Iranex announced in November that it was merging Bio Serae Laboratoires and Colloides Naturels International (CNI) to form Nexira (an anagram of Iranex), some wondered about the wisdom of scrapping two established and recognised brands.

But executive vice president, Olivier Houalla, told NutraIngredients, it was time for a new identity that consolidated the two companies’ activities under a new moniker that spoke of the innovation ambitions of the new entity in science and offerings.

“They were well established but in the meantime it was becoming an agglomeration of different brands, different companies…it was difficult for the customer to understand who we were so we decided to merge all the names, all the companies under a single umbrella.”

“The goal is to … gain a power in innovation and launches of new products.”

Claim wins and losses

Speaking of a 2008 European Union health claim rejection for a weight management-focused Bio Serae cactus ingredient, Houalla said, “to be honest it has not really affected the business. It slowed the business after the rejection for a couple of months but then it is back to normal…The claim is useful but maybe it is not always completely necessary to sell a product.”

The company launched an olive leaf extract that benefitted recently from a positive cholesterol-beneftting European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) opinion.

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