At a day-long event at its HQ near Copenhagen, the firm highlighted some of its directional retuning with an emphasis on driving more rapid innovation in its Cultures & Enzymes, Health & Nutrition and Natural Colors Division.
It made clear it was not interested in becoming a pharma player, that it would remain focused on its natural core and sourcing potential in microbes, cultures and colours.
Asia was singled out as a point of focus among efforts to build its presence in emerging markets.
‘Evolution not revolution’
“The new strategy builds on our core competences and is about evolution rather than revolution,” said CEO Cees de Jong.
“We see attractive growth potential within our core businesses and have identified new opportunities for leveraging Chr Hansen’s strong technology platform within the field of microbial solutions.”
Levering, developing, creating, reinforcing, driving, generating…
Chr Hansen was not available for further comment as to why it felt such a major revision of its business was required at this time but spelled out its 6-platform goals:
1. Fully leveraging the potential of the Cultures & Enzymes Division
2. Developing the microbial solutions platform in the Health & Nutrition Division
3. Creating further value in the Natural Colors Division
4. Reinforcing Chr. Hansen’s position in emerging markets ― especially Asia
5. Driving a step change in innovation
6. Generating the fuel for growth
Probiotic health claims
In its probiotic-microbial business that has been hit by claim rejections under the tough EU nutrition and health claims regulation (NHCR), research efforts would be intensified even as the firm has recently abandoned some trials over poor results.
“Connection between microbiome and indications such as diarrhea, IBS, obesity, and diabetes is subject of intense investigation,” the €700m firm said.
It would also seek ‘proof of concept’ for C. Difficile, “where bacterial transplants are emerging as a promising cure”.
“Chr Hansen will seek to conduct specific clinical studies in cooperation with larger customers,” but added the, “time frame is long and uncertainties are high”.
Other highlighted areas included reducing sugar content in yoghurt and developing fermentation methods for colours.
Chr Hansen recently revised its growth forecats slightly from 8-10%, to 8-9%. It is the world's biggest cultures supplier, followed by fellow Danish supplier Danisco, which was acquired by DuPont for €4bn+ in 2011.