Algalif taps on Iceland’s positive image among consumers to make its astaxanthin stand out

By Adi Menayang contact

- Last updated on GMT

Algalif grows its microalgae in indoor, enclosed photobioreactors. They are lit up by customized LED lights which change color depending of the algae's growth phase. Photo: Algalif
Algalif grows its microalgae in indoor, enclosed photobioreactors. They are lit up by customized LED lights which change color depending of the algae's growth phase. Photo: Algalif
Among the many natural astaxanthin players on the market, Icelandic company Algalif is betting on a sustainability message, as well as the positive images of its home country, to stand out in the crowd.

“As a destination brand, Iceland has very strong awareness throughout the world, and a very positive image in consumers’ minds, about cleanliness, beautiful nature,” ​said Algalif​ global business director Simon Seward at the SupplySide East show in Secaucus, NJ, last week.

“That complements our ingredient very well,” ​he told NutraIngredients-USA. The company started marketing in the US in 2016​. While its customers in Scandinavia often use astaxanthin in products for cognitive health, Seward said the US is a strong market for inclusion in sports nutrition, specifically muscle recovery and endurance.

“This brings the demographic down a little bit,” ​he said, adding that astaxanthin products in Europe often target an older demographic.

Highlighting sustainability and purity

At the show, he was joined by colleague Ingólfur Gunnarsson, Ph.D., head of cultivation at Algalif, who made a presentation about what customers should look for when shopping for astaxanthin.

He talked about the renewable energy source Algalif uses to power its facilities—geothermal—which includes powering the customized LED technology that keeps the natural astaxanthin (a type of algae) growing in a closed facility.

“When buyers are looking for astaxanthin, they’re looking a little bit deeper in terms of what is the manufacturer’s competence, and what the heavy metal profile is like,” ​Seward said.

“Microalgae are a sponge for things like heavy metals in the environment, so open systems let the microalgae soak up the toxic heavy metals,” ​Dr. Gunnarsson added. “We can completely avoid this with our set-up.”

Basically, the company is highlighting what Iceland is widely known for—purity, nature, and technological advancement. All this is done in a B2B setting, so to Seward, the next step in the US market is to have finished product brands leverage that story to consumers.

“Especially for brands playing online,” ​he said. “They can add the story to their content marketing that talks about Iceland as the location of our manufacturing, about the position we have in leveraging its natural resources.”

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