DSM has been active in the Italian market for many years, both selling directly and through distributors. It has worked with Azelis in the past on beverage enzyme, but the new agreement extends bakery enzymes and savoury ingredients as well.
The new agreement is expected to open new doors to DSM’s ingredients, as they sit well alongside Azelis’ existing portfolio of ingredients.
The distributor, whose life sciences operating unit in Italy is known as Giulio Gross, has dedicated sales people with food technology degrees, who know how to present a present an ingredients and how it can be implemented.
Marianne Kentie, regional distributor manager for EMEA at DSM Food Specialties, stressed that the appointment of Azelis is part of DSM’s growth strategy, which emphasizes innovative products. She was not able give any details of the ingredients firm’s projected growth in sales in Italy.
Tonio Grassman, international business director, Azelis Food & Health and general manager of Giulio Gross, told FoodNavigator.com that there is a big trend in convenience food growth in the Italian market, as “Mammas don’t have all the time they had in the past”.
According to Euromonitor International, the Italian ready meals market was worth some €1753 in 2007, and experienced growth of 43.1 per cent since 2003. Compound annual growth rate was 7.5 per cent.
However Grassman said that not all the food manufactured in Italy is destined to be consumed by Italians. There is huge interest in Italian-style products from northern European countries, which makes for huge opportunities to develop products such as pasta and meat applications that are adapted to the tastes of consumers in an export market.
On the savoury ingredient front, this trend translates into potential for yeast extracts. Indeed, DSM has moved to take advantage of general demand from processed foods, salt reduction technologies, and the natural trend by increasing its yeast production capacity in The Netherlands by 35 per cent.
As for enzymes, Grassman said that the market is already developed but that there are good opportunities to bring innovative enzymes into the market – particularly where there are new functionalities and the potential to reduce costs.
Kentie said that DSM has a “full pipeline of products”, both enzymes and other ingredients, and makes new launches on a continuous basis.
DSM has also recently signed a distribution deal with S Black for savoury ingredients, bakery enzymes and beverage enzymes in the UK.
This is driven by the same growth drive on the part of DSM – and S Black is also part of the Azelis Group, which comprises some 36 companies in total and operates in 26 European countries.
The Azelis Group saw sales of €1.1bn in 2007.