DSM, Salutivia deal looks beyond Brexit to address emerging nutritional trends

By Will Chu

- Last updated on GMT

DSM has appointed Salutivia as UK distributor for its range of vitamins, carotenoids, and essential fatty acids in a deal that plays to Salutivia’s strengths in the supplement and food ingredient markets.

The partnership also aims to make use of Salutivia’s expertise through Ubichem in the pharmaceutical market, boosting the multinational’s presence in the UK at a time when the country’s standing within the European Union remains uncertain.

“DSM have operations in every European country,”​ a spokesperson for Salutivia said.

“Having a dedicated distribution partner in the UK means that DSM can focus their activities on their direct accounts whilst knowing that Salutivia will develop the SME accounts of which there are hundreds.”

“Post-Brexit, whatever the deal is, DSM will have a partner operating in the UK who is actively servicing and making lasting partnerships with hundreds of SMEs in the UK,”​ they added.

For DSM, the deal looks to make use of Salutivia’s new product development laboratory, a research centre that looks to develop innovative products, supported by marketing and trend analysis.

The Dutch-based giants are coming off the back of a number of distribution deals, having signed agreements with Nordmann, Rassmann Group and Arkem Kimya back in 2015.

In 2009, Azelis Italia became the sole distributor of DSM Food Specialties’ beverage enzymes in Italy.

‘Thought leadership expertise’

With this deal now welcoming Salutivia to DSM’s stable of distributors, the UK-based firm look to offer “best-in-class supply chain services, an experienced sales team, a deep knowledge of the DSM products and a thought leadership expertise that combines real life commercially relevant NPD and marketing insight for consumer trends”.

Worcestershire-based Salutivia, who already count Firmenich and Rousselot as collaborators, highlight the long-term possibilities of this deal pointing to the growth of fortified foods and nutritional supplementation as areas where consumers are becoming more aware of their own needs.

“Salutivia want to take the agendas for healthy eating in terms of the aging process (e.g. sarcopenia, cognitive health), sports nutrition, veganism and flexitarianism into more mainstream food recipes,”​ Salutivia’s spokesperson commented.  

“This is a dedicated long term effort, a movement, to convince manufacturers to launch more products that fulfil the specific nutritional and supplementation needs of individual consumers.

“At present ideas on bespoke “dial-up” nutrition are primarily fulfilled by “nutritional shots” but the industry needs to think in more sophisticated ways of presenting the consumer with options that look and taste delicious.”

Mixfit interest

The indications are that DSM are firmly on board. Its 50% stake acquired in B2C start-up Mixfit​ looks to analyse consumer health data in real-time to identify nutritional gaps that have to be delivered in consumer acceptable formats.

“Specific opportunities are in sports nutrition and today that is extended to healthy aging. The exciting outlook pioneered by DSM is the prospect of bespoke nutrition down to the individual consumer,” ​the spokesperson said.

For example, athletes and body builders accept the poor consumer and taste experience offered by many high protein products on the market today.

“Salutivia’s products aim to move the market from traditional sporty consumers to all consumers who are looking for alternative ways to take in protein with appropriate levels of fortification andsupplementation,” ​said the spokesperson.

“Beverage companies and especially the larger enterprises should be looking to enter this growing protein water market. Most of these companies however lack the specific NPD experience Salutivia offers.”

Natural’, ‘authentic’ ingredient demand

In expanding the discussion on trends, Salutivia also commented on the increasing demand for ‘natural’ or ‘authentic’ ingredients from not only the ordinary consumer but also those who rely on sports-focused nutrition such as athletes.

The spokesperson believed consumers were becoming more aware of the need for ethical supply chains that could be independently audited as well as an extension to schemes such as Fair Trade that apply to all aspects of the supply chain.

“No doubt this will also become of increasing importance for nutritional supplements,”​ the spokesperson explained.

“Whereas the supermarkets and some mainstream food ingredient manufacturers are now able to develop in house “Fair Trade” schemes, the trend will be for the supply chains of naturally derived ingredients and supplements to demonstrate ethical supply with a social benefit payback along the supply chain.

“There are great benefits to the world of synthetically derived or modified ingredients/supplements and the rate of innovation in food technology to enable the marketing of improved supplements must only increase.”

The spokesperson thought that athletes would continue to operate at the fringe of the mass looking for opportunities to enhance their nutritional intake.

“The decisions on what is and what is not allowed will come from regulatory bodies governing the sports,”​ they said.

“However, the world of supplementation will forever be challenging the status quo with developments that allow an athlete to gain the small incremental improvement in performance that will make them world class.”

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