Ajinomoto to spice up European food operations

By Nathan Gray

- Last updated on GMT

Japanese ingredients giant Ajinomoto says it plans to revamp its food operations in Europe in order to integrate business interests and grow sales.

The Tokyo based company, best known as a producer of sweeteners and seasonings, told FoodNavigator that it has taken “a strategic decision to integrate food related businesses in Europe.”

It confirmed that Ajinomoto Foods Europe SAS, which supplies ingredients including monosodium glutamate seasoning to leading food producers, will absorb Ajinomoto Consumer Products Europe in order to fully integrate its European food operations.

Ajinomoto Poland will also become a subsidiary of the revamped Ajinomoto Foods Europe group in August of this year, it said.

European growth

Ajinomoto said it hopes the planned reorganization will boost sales in Europe over the next five years. Currently the European market accounts for just 7.5 per cent of the company’s income.

“Currently, our net sales in Europe are approximately 90billion yen including food ingredients, and amino acids for industrial use. Our aim is to accelerate our food business as to expand the total sales in Europe,”​ said Naoko Obara, of Ajinomoto Co, Japan.

As part of its new strategy Ajinomoto said that it will continue the import of its group products, however sales of imported products will now be centralised to its European headquarters in France, whilst it will respond to market needs by setting up a new office in London, which will better serve its UK customers.

“We have a number of top selling products based on quality of taste, and thus, have gained their leading positions in various regions. We have many more products that we would like to introduce, whilst we are also eager to develop products which are specifically targeted for the European Market,”​ added Ms. Obara.

New products

In addition to centralising its European operations, Ajinomoto confirmed that it plans to form a new department focusing on R&D for the development of new products in the European market.

“We plan to utilize the R&D function within the group companies to develop consumer products that are more designed to European taste rather than simply importing best selling products within the Group companies world-wide,”​ Obara said.

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