Full life cycle
“DHA is present in 99.9% of infant formula in the US. There is high awareness among mothers and the ingredient is very well known. We are showing that DHA has benefits throughout a consumer’s entire life cuycle for congnitive function,” Caroline Brons, marketing director for human nutrition and health at DSM Nutritional Products told NutraIngredients-USA.
DSM acquired this branch of its omega-3s business when in bought Maryland-based Martek Biosciences in 2011 for $1.1 billion. Martek pioneered the extraction of DHA from heterotrophic algae as a spinoff from US aerospace firm Martin Marietta in the mid 80s and starting with widespread commercialization in the early 2000s built a commanding position in infant nutrition. Combining with DSM allowed the ingredient to be marketed worldwide.
DSM also solidified its positon in omega-3s by acquiring fish oils leader Ocean Nutrition Canada for $532 million in mid 2012. Ocean Nutrition was among the first companies offering high concentrations of DHA and EPA and pioneered its MEG 3 technology, which creates a fish oil suitable for functional food and beverages applicaitons. Prior to the acquisiton Ocean Nutrition scored a signifcant win with the ingredient by placing in cooking oil sold in China by Asian food giant Wilmar.
DSM will also be highlighting the capabilties of its Fortitech division. DSM acquired the privately-held custom premix blender for $632 million later in 2012. The company is in the final throes of fully integrating this latest acquistion.
Spending spree creates leader
Taken together, DSM will be demonstrating the full suite of capabilities at IFT that the $2.2 billion spending spree over the last few years brought to the company. DSM is now a leader in omega-3s and in vitamin supply and custom blending (having started in vitamins with its acquisiton of the vitamin business from Roche in 2002).
“We are now global leaders in omega-3s in both vegetarian and fish-based forms,” Brons said. “We have a very significant area in our booth dedicated to omega-3s. We will also be showcasing the capabilties of our Fortitech division.”At the time of the Fortitech deal, DMS board member Stephan Tanda said, “We are done for awhile and will now focus on 12-18 months of integration. We’ll make sure the business cases fully deliver on the bottom line.”
The company seems to be making good on that promise. In recent years the recession has taken significant chunks out of the profits of DSM’s materials and other businesses, while the nutrition sectors have held the line.