AAK secures ‘major foothold’ in speciality lecithin

By Katy Askew

- Last updated on GMT

© iStock thavornc
© iStock thavornc
AAK said it is set to become one of the world’s ‘leading suppliers’ of speciality lecithin following the acquisition of a majority stake in UK-based Soya International.

Following completion, the business will trade under a new name – AAK Soya International. The company will continue to operate out of Manchester and supply a ‘comprehensive’ range of products, including non-GMO liquid lecithins, non-GMO powdered lecithins, organic lecithins and speciality lecithin solutions developed for chocolate, confectionery, bakery, dairy and infant nutrition applications.

Lecithin is a natural emulsifier produced from vegetable oils such as soy, sunflower and rapeseed. The ingredient also has uses as an antioxidant and flavour protector.

Following the acquisition, there will be no change to current lecithin supply arrangements for existing customers. However, the new set-up provides ‘significant business opportunities’ for new and existing customers, AAK claimed.

Tapping global demand

AAK Soya International’s products are already available in more than 40 countries and the company’s reach will now extend further thanks to AAK’s global sales network.

AAK Soya International will also adopt AAK’s approach to ‘co-development’, Alec van Veldhoven, senior director of AAK Soya International, added. “In the oils and fats sector, AAK is globally recognized as the Co-Development Company. We partner with our customers to find optimal solutions for their products and they appreciate this approach. Now we can also deliver this value proposition in the lecithin sector.”

AAK said there is growing demand for non-GMO, sustainably produced lecithin ingredients in traditional markets like Europe with high growth in especially the US and Asia. AAK Soya International will be ‘perfectly positioned’ to service this demand by leveraging AAK’s existing global sales network, the company claimed.

For AAK’s customers, the acquisition provides an opportunity to simplify operations by sourcing speciality lecithin ingredients alongside oils and fats from a single supplier.

Marco Oomen, global business director chocolate & confectionery fats at AAK, added: “Our ambition is to be one of the world’s leading non-GMO lecithin suppliers, with a focus on value-adding speciality products. The establishment of AAK Soya International gives us a major foothold to do this and it’s a perfect strategic fit with AAK’s speciality oils and fats portfolio.”

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