NI Awards "helped put Pharmako Biotechnologies on the map”

By Nikki Hancocks

- Last updated on GMT

NI Awards "helped put Pharmako Biotechnologies on the map”

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With the NutraIngredients Awards celebrating its 10 year anniversary in 2024, we speak to winners from the last decade and find out how their award win has impacted their business.

One company which has achieved more than one award win over the years, is the Australian specialist in innovative delivery systems Pharmako Biotechnologies, which launched onto the scene in 2018.

The firm was quick to join the NI Awards roster and has remained a keen member of the community since.

Eric Meppen, the firm's co-founder, recalls: “Winning Start-Up of the Year in 2018 helped put Pharmako Biotechnologies on the map; people wanted to know what we did, and the award helped endorse our expertise.

“Equally as important was being a finalist in 2018 and then winning Innovation of the Year for LipiSperse the next year. That technology is the basis for our two best selling ingredients, which have featured in other award categories such as Healthy Ageing and Sports Nutrition.

“Supported by the exposure in NutraIngredients we have also gained customers in more than 20 countries globally."

"International businesses such as Pharmako Biotechnologies...have for many, many years used NutraIngredients as a trusted source of information. As such the NutraIngredients Awards, which recognise novel products, research and innovations in the industry are a great way to spotlight new opportunities."

Meppen notes that the judging and awards dinner event were hosted alongside the Vitafoods tradeshow back in 2018 and so entering the awards and exhibiting at the show were two synergistic ways to bring their hero ingredient to a wider international market.

Harking back to its roots for its 10 year anniversary, the 2024 award winners will be presented with their trophies during an awards celebration in Geneva on the 15th May 2024.

“In 2018 Pharmako were a Australian small business, as members of the industry we were regular visitors to Vitafoods Asia and subscribers to NutraIngredients," says Meppen. “The Awards night in 2018, at the Starling Hotel was fantastic. Not only because we won, but the support and comradery from the industry was electric. We’re super excited that it’s back to a face-to-face event this year.”

Meppen recalls the ‘daunting’ experience of providing a face-to-face presentations of the product to the judging panels for the three categories they had entered - as was the process before the process moved online.

“Thankfully after all that effort we actually won one! Then it was back to manning our Vitafoods booth with our partners from Gencor Pacific.

“The process is now more streamlined, but the questions make entrants re-evaluate their achievements and strategies. This is a very useful process.”

He asserts the NutraIngredients Awards have had a 'tremendous impact' for Pharmako’s business, especially when it comes to marketing the firm’s unique technologies and research.

“The third party validation of our achievements is a very gratifying for our entire Pharmako team, but also very important for our distributors and customers around the world. Our technologies and research are innovative, but communicating this to a wide international audience is important.  

“The awards broadens our reach and helps potential customers recognise opportunities for innovation based on our ingredients or research.”

Industry updates

Speaking about what has changed since the award wins, Meppen explains that Pharmako, like most businesses following COVID, are answering the challenges of supply chain shocks, freight increases and global uncertainty.

"Thankfully we’ve enjoyed very strong growth the last few years, so 2024 challenges are to maintain that momentum, supplying new customers in Europe, Asia and the USA. We also now have a dedicated European Business Manager in market, supporting our distributors, and meeting new customers."

In the last two years, Pharmako has expanded its manufacturing capacity, with everything made in its TGA (Therapeutic Goods Administration) licensed Sydney facility, alongside increased capabilities of its in-house TGA license analytical laboratory. 

How to enter

There are 14 award categories available to enter for 2024, with options for ingredients, finished product, projects, and people. 

To discover the categories and learn how to enter, visit the awards website here​. 

Meppen concludes: "Entering the NutraIngredients Awards is extremely worthwhile from a business and team perspective. Make sure your application is thorough, and focus on the award criteria in answering questions; showcasing the benefits of your product or technology."

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