Eurogerm targets Asian bakery sector with partnership

By Jess Halliday

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Bread

French bakery ingredients firm Eurogerm is chasing the high potential Asian market, and has entered an agreement with Japanese flour miller Nisshin Seifun to target it effectively – including a 15 per cent share sale.

Nisshin Seifun is recognised as a specialist in the Asian market, and has a historical presence in China with a laboratory and test baking centre in Shanghai. The two companies are now forming a joint venture to take on China together, and will share know-how, technologies, production units and sales units.

The companies have not indicated the share proportions in the joint venture, but in order to strengthen ties between the two groups Nisshin Seifiun will purchase about 15 per cent of the shares in Eurogerm. The majority shareholder remains Eurogerm CEO Jean-Philippe Girard.

Nishin Seifun has also negotiated an exclusive license agreement for the importation, production and distribution of Eurogerm products into Japan, China and Thailand, as well as a general statement on technical and business collaboration covering ASEAN countries (and especially Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore).

Eurogerm’s ingredients store includes correctors, improvers, premixes, colour and flavour ingredients, nutritional ingredients, ingredients to improve the sensory properties, and those that improve the performance of flour and dough.

High potential

Asia represents the highest potential growth for the bakery sector. Fast development rates and rising incomes are leading to greater interest in Western eating habits.

Export director Serge Momus told FoodNavigator.com that it is a very fast-growing market, you have to consider the different tastes.

“We will be focusing on more high-added value bread in Japan, like functional foods, or additive-free and organic breads,”​ he said.

“Japan is not growing but there is a big existing market and we think we could take some share. Japanese customers are very keen on French-type products”.

In China, on the other hand, the most popular consumer products are sliced bread or hamburger breads, and there is less demand for French-type crusty breads in China. “Crusty products generally are not best sellers in many countries. Consumers used to eating soft products consider that they hurt the palate.”

Momus confirmed that this is the first time Eurogerm has made a partnership with such a large company. It does have joint ventures and partnerships in Africa and South America, but these tend to be with individuals or small companies.

Nisshin has along history as a flour miller and yeast producer, and since the two companies have the same customer base, bakers, it makes sense for them to be able to offer Eurogerm’s line of ingredients and premixes along with their own.

“We come with the products, they come with the clients,” ​he said.

In 2009, 45 per cent of its €51.9m turnover came from exports, but this is not broken down any further into regions.

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