Facing up to competitive times, Ingredia-Rhodia call the double cone

Related tags Ice cream Milk

When onlookers of the food ingredients industry claim that
consolidation will be a key trend in coming years they are
generally referring to mergers and acquisitions. But could it be
that consolidation in this increasingly competitive marketplace
might take the form of firmer relationships between ingredients
companies in specific areas? A glimpse of this possible future
trend has come from two French firms, Ingredia and Rhodia Food.

Ingredia, a supplier of functional dairy ingredients and milk proteins, has linked up with Rhodia Food, part of the Rhodia group, to target ice cream manufacturers.

The principal aim of the agreement is to look for potential synergies between the extended Rhodia Food texturant portfolio and the dairy functional ingredients range offered by Ingredia.

"This strategic alliance will enable the two companies to better serve their customers in offering them a complementary portfolio and innovative and added-value solutions for the ice cream manufacturers,"​ Fabrice Bohin, European business director for fresh dairy at Rhodia Food, told FoodNavigator.com​.

So how will the agreement work? "We are going to share our sales network but also our R&D and technical service resources, while coordinating our marketing approach,"​ added Bohin.

The alliance will cover an extended European zone, including eastern Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

"We are expecting synergies at the sales level but also at the technical level. Indeed, to optimise functional proteins and stabilisers that enter in most ice-cream recipes requires the understanding of both technologies. We should then be able to answer specific customer requests such as low-fat, organicor creamier products,"​ confirmed Bohin.

The finer details of the agreement were not disclosed but both companies will be keen, in their own words, 'to bring value in the very competitive ice cream ingredient market and to develop innovative solutions, based on synergies existing between both companies' core technologies'.

In October the Rhodia group, following a difficult financial period for the company which posted a first-half loss of €150 million, announced a major restructuring drive. The move coincided with the departure of its chairman and chief executive Jean-Pierre Tirouflet.

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