Leader in specialty plant-based natural ingredients, Naturex, has informed its shareholders of strategic advances in the fruit and vegetable market in the US.
On the organic growth front, Naturex is seeking to create synergies between the North and Latin American markets. The company has reached an agreement with the minority shareholders of Chile Botanics on the purchase of 49 percent of their stake. For the “external” growth component, Naturex has further strengthened its industrial footprint in the US, through the acquisition of Haliburton International Foods.
A combination of organic growth and external growth
Present in the market for natural vegetable-based ingredients through Vegetables Juices Inc., acquired in 2014, Naturex is pursuing organic and external growth opportunities to strengthen its leadership position in the US. These will enable Naturex to take advantage of strong market trends in favor of natural, clean label products and nutrition as well as its business project portfolio in this key product category.
For the “organic” growth component, Naturex’s aim was to diversify the manufacturing capabilities of Vegetable Juices Inc., until now specialized in a liquid transformation process for vegetable-based specialty products, by investing in a drying technology in order to expand its product portfolio and its scope of applications.
After concluding an agreement with Chile Botanics’ minority shareholders to buy out their 49 percent stake, Naturex will be able to fully contribute to this structure’s development, notably through synergies in terms of fruit and vegetable off-season sourcing and creating application solutions to support the deployment of the company’s fruit and vegetable strategy.
Speaking to FoodIngredientsFirst, Olivier Rigaud (pictured), Naturex’s Chief Executive Officer and Director said: “We are busy in the natural colors, preservatives, health and wellness and in specialties fruit and vegetable space. What we have announced is that we are back to acquisitions. We made a promise to get the company back on track and now we have achieved the phase of restructuring.”
“We believe that the fruit and vegetable platform is a key growth platform. It’s also really what the consumer is looking for. We have products will full traceability, organic supplies and we are also moving to minimally processed vegetables to make sure that we retain all the goodness from the fruit and veg in terms of sensory, color and nutritional aspects,” he explains.
For the “external” growth component, Naturex is further strengthening both its commercial base in the beverage and food industry segment and its industrial footprint in the US.
This mix of external and organic growth is in line with Naturex’s strategy for accelerating the development of natural fruit and vegetable-based ingredients.
“This will expand our expertise by strengthening our industrial footprint with additional technological know-how, sourcing, traceability and access to the organic sectors, in order to better serve our customers,” explains Rigaud.
“This complementary offering will make it possible to develop synergies between different product categories and applications [like “savory”, beverages, functional foods and nutrition & health] and increase our penetration with existing customers,” comments Rigaud.
These initiatives confirm Naturex’s determination to accelerate the pace of development and give a new impetus to their offerings of natural solutions coming from fruits and vegetables, and in so doing address the specific needs of their customers, by supporting them in adapting to changes and trends in the market.
“These two acquisitions will bring additional capabilities to the Naturex group and will really strengthen our presence in the US market, which represents over 40 percent of our business in total,” explains Rigaud. “This is the driver of these acquisitions, at the same time we acquire new capabilities. There is a very strong consumer demand to have less sugar in their products and to keep all the nutrients intact and the way to do that is to really avoid applying heat treatment to cold pressed juices,” he states.
“We acquired the minority shareholder in our Chile Botanics subsidies, where we owned 51 percent and how we have acquired 100 percent of the stake. This was an important move because the company is located in the southern hemisphere and is able to produce fruit and vegetable ingredients all year round – 12 months out of 12, this is very key to our model, because we are able to serve our customers with fresh products all year round.”
“The restructuring has now been completed and our focus now is on growth,” notes Rigaud. “We have a series of investments which we will announce tomorrow on the stock market, we are investing in organic capacities. These are big investments on the organic growth side and both of these are a combination of NMA and organic acquisitions. We are also doubling our capacity of rosemary extracts from Morocco,” he finalizes.
By Elizabeth Green
Source: Food Ingredients First
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