Natural and clean label expansion: Firmenich acquires Campus, Italian innovator in protein solutions

Firmenich has acquired Italy-based Campus, an innovator in the application of natural functional ingredients for protein applications, specializing in clean label, meat and plant-based foods. This acquisition broadens Firmenich’s capabilities in naturals and protein solutions, cutting across animal and vegan food products. Neither party is disclosing financial details of the deal, which is expected to close by the end of this week.

Campus was founded in 2005 in Parma, at the heart of Italy’s “Food Valley,” by Giampaolo Cagnin, with an initial focus on meat applications. Over the years, the company developed expertise and knowledge in using natural products, such as fibers, to create customized functional solutions for a broad range of protein applications, including both meat and meat alternatives. Campus operates research and production facilities in Italy and is expanding its footprint globally with a state-of-the-art production plant in Monterrey, Mexico, due to start production later this year.

Flavor suppliers are evidently moving beyond the traditional flavor sector alone, with the focus being on taste. For Firmenich, “it is important that we also evolve to meet the changing needs of our customers,” according to Chris Millington, President Flavors.

Chris Millington, President Flavors at Firmenich

“The food and beverage industry is evolving. While flavors remain the cornerstone of our business, we are proactively entering into adjacent industries that complement our existing business,” he tells FoodIngredientsFirst.

“Firmenich has long been a pioneer and innovator when it comes to exploring opportunities beyond tonality excellence. This ensures that we remain relevant to our customers by creating a diversified portfolio of capabilities to best support their innovation objectives, for our sustained success.”

“This acquisition will allow us to strengthen our ability to deliver natural and clean label solutions across all types of protein,” he notes. “Campus’ application capabilities will allow us to broaden our clean label portfolio across processed meat and green/smart protein segments, enabling us to offer our clients enhanced product functionality (e.g., product texture, yield, shelf-life and appearance) and most importantly great tasting products.”

“We are targeting companies that complement our strategy and align with our company values and vision. Acquiring a company is not about gaining share; it’s about maximizing growth potential through customer and consumer relevance,” he adds.

“Currently, we remain the largest privately held company in the industry with a great reputation in excellence, innovation, application capabilities and regulatory expertise. We are able to take a long-term view of our business and remain agile in the face of a rapidly changing industry and we continue to evolve our platform and offering to our customers to ensure their products stay relevant to their consumers,” he explains.

Also speaking with FoodIngredientsFirst, Eduardo Pares, Vice President, Global Savory, highlights that although the demand for so-called “green proteins” is dramatically increasing, there is still a demand for demand for processed meat.

“The need for meat products and traditional animal proteins will continue for the foreseeable future. Through Campus, we acquire expertise in not only meat protein functionalities but also a foundation for addressing the diverse range of functional challenges that green proteins bring. While green proteins will continue to grow dramatically, we will be able to offer our clients enhanced product functionality (e.g., texture, shelf-life, color) in addition to great taste and aroma or both meat and plant-based proteins,” he comments.

Eduardo Pares, Vice President, Global Savory at Firmenich

“I am delighted to be welcoming Campus into the Firmenich family, as we share common values, a commitment to world-class research and to leading innovation in natural solutions,” says Patrick Firmenich, Chairman of the Board, Firmenich. “Giampaolo Cagnin and Federico Fulgoni, Campus’s CEO, have built an impressive organization that we look forward to taking to the next level to offer our customers a complete natural taste experience.”

“With Firmenich’s excellence in research and global market reach, I am excited about the many opportunities ahead for Campus,” notes Federico Fulgoni, CEO of Campus. “By combining our capabilities, we will accelerate our longstanding goal of offering the most comprehensive range of clean label solutions for protein applications, cutting across animal and plant-based products.”

“Campus is a company that has been built on innovation and has made its mark in protein solutions,” adds Gilbert Ghostine, CEO, Firmenich. “We look forward to working together to expand its reach globally and leverage its capabilities into new categories such as dairy and plant-based solutions to make our customers win today and tomorrow.”

Other major flavor players are also highly interested in working with alternative proteins, including meat analogs, with market leader Givaudan active in a joint research program within this space in the Netherlands.

In June, Firmenich launched its Natural and Clean Label platform to create “great tasting, natural and traceable food and beverage experiences.” Combining its mastery of taste and naturals, with its world-class science and consumer understanding, Firmenich is focused on creating the most authentic flavors. The clean label trend is central to these market dynamics, as Firmenich looks to this arena with the creation of its Clean Label & Natural platforms.

The move also came amid a period of consolidation in the flavors sector. This year, several major flavor houses have diversified beyond their base, dominated by the shift in the traditional flavors segment.

Givaudan acquired 40.5 percent shares in Naturex, in March, for a total consideration of €522 million. This transaction was part of Givaudan’s 2020 strategy to strengthen its capabilities in natural flavor solutions. The reopening of Givaudan’s tender offer for the remaining shares of Naturex has been announced today. Under the tender offer initiated on Naturex shares by Givaudan and open between June 28 and August 1, 2018, inclusive, the AMF (French Market Authority) published the results transmitted by Euronext Paris: 5, 433,829 Naturex shares were received on deposit.

Thus, Givaudan now holds, directly and indirectly, 9,358,019 Naturex shares, representing 97.24 percent of the share capital based on the total number of shares as of July 31, 2018. The settlement and delivery of the offer will take place according to the calendar communicated by Euronext Paris.

As the threshold for the expiry of a holding exceeding 50 percent of the capital or voting rights is reached, the offer will be reopened from August 8 to September 3, 2018 inclusive, under the same conditions as the initial period. At the end of this re-opened offer, Givaudan will proceed with a squeeze-out and the delisting of Naturex shares from the Euronext Paris stock exchange.

In May, IFF agreed to buy Israeli-based, Frutarom, in a transaction valued at approximately US$7.1 billion. By combining with Frutarom, IFF said it was seeking to accelerate its Vision 2020 strategy to create a global leader in natural taste, scent and nutrition. Just yesterday, FoodIngredientsFirst reported that Frutarom shareholders overwhelmingly approved the takeover by IFF. You can read more on this here.

The latest Firmenich move further illustrates how 2018 has so far been dominated by the shift in the traditional flavors segment, where significant players target the more holistic concept of taste as opposed to pure flavor.

Source: Food Ingredients First

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