Optiobiotix’s SlimBiome deal with Agropur leads nutrition negotiation round up

By Will Chu

- Last updated on GMT

Optiobiotix leads the way in Nutraingredient’s round-up of the latest deals struck this month as the UK-based firm grants another licence for its SlimBiome weight management technology to Agropur.

According to Optibiotix, the deal represents a “strategic step to de-risk its supply chain”​ extending SlimBiome’s market reach by adding manufacturing in North America.

Agropur intend to use SlimBiome’s prebiotic fibre blend as a specialised functional ingredient in applications including dietary supplements, sports nutrition and food and beverage products.

We chose Agropur due to their expertise in manufacturing and distributing specialty ingredients like SlimBiome and their reputation for supplying high quality products to the food industry,” ​says Dr Fred Narbel, managing director of OptiBiotix's prebiotics division.

“We believe working with Agropur, and similar partners around the world, provides the best opportunity of increasing our global commercial reach and catering to the growing interest we are seeing in SlimBiome from partners worldwide."

The deal is the latest deal that licenses the product to a number of manufacturers and distributors worldwide in efforts to extend the reach of the weight management ingredient.

In May, Optibiotix revealed details of a distributor agreement with Extensor in a deal that permits the Polish firm to exclusively import, market and distribute OptiBiotix's GoFigure meal replacements, flapjacks and mueslis containing the SlimBiome technology to the Polish market.

At the start of the year, OptiBiotix struck a deal with Zeon Lifesciences, in which Zeon was awarded an exclusive license to manufacture and supply SlimBiome in India in return for 50% of the profit.

Univar and Seaweed & Co

Meanwhile, Univar Solutions are preparing to distribute Seaweed & Co’s PureSea Superior Scottish Seaweed in a recently struck deal that taps into global demand for seaweed ingredients.

“We are very pleased to add Seaweed & Co. as a strategic supplier for our food ingredients market as this presents tremendous opportunity to drive new growth through organic, natural and sustainably sourced products,”​ said Gary Abraham, Univar Solutions’ head of supplier management in Europe, Middle East and Africa.

“The PureSea portfolio enables us to enhance our solutions-based offering for our customers and meet emerging demand for seaweed ingredient products.”

Seaweed & Co’s ambition extends to a recent €7.8m expansion to its factory located in the Outer Hebrides.

The plant’s expansion intends to meet increasing demand for the ingredients’ nutritional and sustainability credentials that has seen the production seaweed-containing products rise globally since 2011.

A recent report by Innova Market Insights reports a 10% increase​ in launches of global supplements containing seaweed ingredients (2015 vs. 2014).

Despite this increase, European production had remained stable at above 350,000 tons (t) until 2000 and has since decreased to 294,774 t in 2016.

The report highlights the need for European and global seaweed industries’ to scale-up to a capacity and facility to produce around 100,000 - 300,000 t per year in order to be competitive.

Rapid Nutrition deal

Finally, UK-based Rapid Nutrition announces an agreement with international distribution company Super Health Center (SHC) to help expand the reach of its SystemLS brand.

The agreement follows on from a deal struck with US supplement retailers GNC in April to make available the SystemLS brand across 500 stores across North America and the GNC website.

Speaking about the agreement with SHC, Rapid Nutrition’s CEO, Simon St. Leger said, “As the company advances its rollout with GNC, SHC will be instrumental in expediting order fulfillment with GNC franchised stores while also leveraging its established global distribution channels to advance the growth of our SystemLS brand.

“We believe SHC will play an integral role in our growth strategy as we continue our commitment to building long-term shareholder value.”

SHC’s managing director, Kevin Staab, spoke of his firm’s motivations in agreeing this deal adding, “We want to share brands with the world that have been developed with ingenuity and innovation.

“SystemLS is a brilliant addition to our hand-selected stable of brands delivering premium health products at affordable prices.

“We look forward to building SystemLS into a global in-demand brand by leveraging our expert services to grow, protect, and expand SystemLS both domestically and internationally.”

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