The global food starches firm is part of the Ingredion group. Its ingredients are often used for technical purposes as stabilisers, thickeners and texturisers.
“We have a longstanding presence in Turkey, but we want to strengthen our presence there, which is why we agreed this deal with Univar,” Luc Bertram, director of sales and marketing, told FoodNavigator. National Starch Food Innovation already relies on Univar as a distribution partner in other regions. The two firms have had a commercial relationship for 20 years, with Univar supporting National Starch Food Innovation’s distribution in the UK, Ireland, Iberia and the Nordic region.
The Turkey deal was core to National Starch Food Innovation’s business strategy, said Bertram. “Turkey is a very big growth area for us and part of our future plans.” Other target areas included Eastern Europe, he added, but refused to disclose more about the growth plans.
The dairy sector offered the most potential to develop the company’s ingredients in Turkey, but its products and technical solutions could also be applied to soups, sauces, dressings and baked goods, said Bertram.
Demand was particularly high for National Starch Food Innovation’s skimmed milk powder replacements, as the prices of the ingredient were fluctuating wildly, he said. “This is a key area that we are targeting.”
Neil Blackburn, Univar supplier director for food ingredients for Europe, Middle East and Africa, said: “National Starch has a wide range of products that have been well-received in other European markets and we are very pleased to introduce them to our small and medium-sized Turkish customers.
“We see significant opportunities for high-performance, functional starches in this region, particularly in the bakery, ready meals, dairy, savoury, meat, sauces and dressings sectors.”
Univar said its development kitchens in Turkey and recent acquisition of well-established Turkish distributor Eral-Protek helped to swing the deal.
Blackburn told FoodNavigator: "We don’t disclose details about the size of individual deals, but this is an important agreement for us. Turkey has a population of over 70 million meaning the market potential is significant, but it is also a strategically important deal for us as it helps strengthen our position in the region.
"Turkey has a large and increasingly sophisticated food market and we see rapidly growing demand for the kinds of highly functional ingredients that National Starch is producing. These products have applications across a wide range of sectors, from bakery through to soups, sauces and dressings. he region."
National Starch Food Innovation would supply the Turkish market from its manufacturing base in Germany, said Bertram.