European supplier CSM Ingredients eyes Latin America: ‘Our global growth strategy is centred on scaling up in other parts of the world’

By Katy Askew

- Last updated on GMT

CSM Ingredients plans to debut in Chile's bakery sector / Pic: GettyImages-ferrantraite
CSM Ingredients plans to debut in Chile's bakery sector / Pic: GettyImages-ferrantraite

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CSM Ingredients is entering Latin America through a strategic partnership with Chilean player ICB. FoodNavigator catches up with CSM CEO Aldo Uva to learn more about how this expansion positions the European supplier for further growth.

CSM Ingredients is expanding into Latin America. The company has entered into a strategic partnership with ICB, a leading global distributor specialized in the Chilean market. Through this collaboration, ICB becomes the exclusive distributor for CSM Ingredients’ products destined for Chilean customers.

“Entering the Latin American market is an important step for us at CSM Ingredients as our company evolves. To date, our company has had a strong footprint in Europe as a core market, but our global growth strategy is centred on scaling up our best practices and be competitive players in other areas of the world where our cross-category products can generate impact in terms of meeting and anticipating consumer trends,”​ CSM Ingredients chief executive Aldo Uva told FoodNavigator.

CSM: Investing for growth

Since the creation of its new business structure in 2021, CSM Ingredients has focused on ‘elevating’ its core offerings through investments in research and innovation, the creation of new category offerings such as plant-based and functional ingredients, and a ‘robust’ international expansion plan.

“In 2021, our company reported strong growth with revenues of €640 million. Even in the face of challenging global market conditions, our business is continuing to make investments to ensure growth,”​ Uva said.

“This is evidenced by activities that will help accelerate growth such as new market entries, acquisitions like Hi Food, the creation of strategic partnerships with start-ups such as Allozymes, and plans to add to our four innovation centres and four open innovation hubs, and much more.”

The company places these efforts in the context of its vision of becoming a ‘net positive ingredient tech platform’ in taste and nutrition.

Lat Am: An ‘exciting’ market opportunity

CSM’s arrival in Chile represents an important step in the company’s history, as it marks its entry into a ‘dynamic and important country for the food industry’, and – more broadly – for Latin America.

“Latin America for us is a very exciting market to develop. When entering a region made up of 33 countries, it is clear that there is a potential to have countless business opportunities and a large impact,”​ CSM’s chief executive elaborated.

CSM Ingredients is now offering products destined for the traditional baked goods market in Chile which, according to Euromonitor data, by 2025 is forecast to reach a sales volume of 14.7 billion tons, representing an almost 50% increase from 2020.

In the ‘near future’, the range will be extended with an increased offering drawing from CSM Ingredient’s portfolio relevant for other industry sectors.

“Our approach will be to target specific countries, beginning with Chile, with the help of leading local distribution partners who can help us navigate and expand our offerings in the right way. It is very exciting to think of all the opportunities that we will be able to bring to the table through food ingredient tech innovation,”​ Uva told us.

Looking at CSM’s solutions that meet the particular needs of food and beverage players in Latin America, Uva noted that there is a balance between global macro trends and specific regional needs.

“The global macro trends of nutrition and sustainability are imperatives in today’s world and, as leaders in the food industry and signers of the UN Global Compact, businesses like ours have the responsibility to ensure we are working identify provide solutions that are good for both people and the planet. We aim to ultimately work with distributors and customers locally to help drive this.

“With this in mind, each country in Latin America has very specific needs and trends, and at CSM Ingredients we will be sure to analyse and take the right approach for each new market we enter. For example, in Chile, our first steppingstone in Lat Am, we understand that the traditional baked good business continues to experience growth (including bread, and other artisanal and specialty offerings). But beyond this, there is strong development in the ice cream, yoghurt, and plant-based drinks and meats sectors.”

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