Simon Riise, director of business development at GC Rieber VivoMega, said that while the industry’s main challenge is the supply chain, it also offers companies a chance to think outside the box.
"The supply has been smooth and we've all, I guess been in many ways spoiled by good quality and massive supply, in some key regions," he said. "Now we see that it’s not necessarily the case for these past seasons and hopefully it changes, but it gives us incentives to work on the raw materials to secure so we can utilize more potential regions and different sources. It gives discipline in the value chain, because the whole industry has been in some ways driven by short-term horizons, everyone from big brands, retailers to CMOs, ingredient producers and raw material producers."
Given the seasonal nature of fish oil, Riise said algae is a good alternative source of omega-3. GC Rieber Vivomega started offering microalgae oil in 2023.
"The response is good, but it's a bit slower than maybe what we anticipate in terms of market response," Riise said. "Personally, I think that's mainly due to education.
"We all know how consumer behavior [has changed] with the attention spans decreasing, how can you ensure that consumers are able to understand what you're trying to say and you have only the label?"
Riise added that when thinking about all the nuances—the different forms, concentration levels, conversions—it’s not the easiest to understand.
“It's a difficult story, maybe we made it too difficult for some consumers to understand.”
To hear more about the state of the omega-3 industry, how GC Reiber Vivomega remains selective in sourcing and its new Norwegian factory, listen to the NutraCast.