Fortitech expansion reflects booming European market

Related tags New plant European union

Strong year-on-year sales growth and a major new plant expansion at
premix leader Fortitech's Europe base demonstrates the insatiable
appetite for fortified foods in the region, writes Dominique

Fortitech set up its first manufacturing plant in Europe in 2002 but is already moving into a new plant this month, giving it a substantial increase in capacity.

"It is difficult to tell how much capacity it adds, it could increase our current output by three, four, five or 10 times,"​ said Nicholas Touillon, sales director at Fortitech Europe​.

Current output from the Denmark base, which serves markets in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, is around 800 tons, Touillon told

The new plant, covering more than 4,000 square metres, could see this rise to 4-5000 tons as fortified foods become a mainstream business in Europe.

"The US market saw an explosion of new ideas and concepts a few years ago and this is now starting to be seen in Europe,"​ Touillon explained.

Around 8 per cent of all new food and drink products introduced last year were fortified with vitamins or minerals, according to Mintel's Global New Products Database. Add this to the nutrients required in the booming supplements sector, and Fortitech's core infant formula business, and the need for new capacity becomes clear.

"The market in Europe is unlimited. We're not going to hit a bottleneck in demand before 15 years time,"​ predicts Touillon. "So it really is a matter of internal capacity."

Fortitech, the acknowledged leader in premixes, says its ability to customize products down to the smaller details like packaging, labelling and even specific quality control, allows it to stand out over other players.

It cannot compete on the prices offered by bigger manufacturers but has focused on its flexibility and working on new concepts.

The company is also heavily involved in developing applications and its European R&D team is currently working on products ranging from powdered drinks, to small liquid doses and gels.

"We don't have an applications lab but this is the vision of our president and we will probably have one in a couple of years,"​ suggests Touillon.

Scope in applications is more restricted in Europe than the US owing to tighter legislation. Indeed Fortitech's choice of base in Denmark is rather ironic given the country's tough stance on fortified foods.

However Touillon sees the plant as key to the firm's growth in Europe.

"It is absolutely capital. European customers want to deal with European people who have a good grasp of the regulatory issues, from GM to allergens."

"Also the availability of raw materials is not the same. If we purchased the ingredients in the US they would be a different grade,"​ he explained.

The US still takes care of oily blends and botanicals although there are plans to bring oily blends to Europe by the summer.

The new plant, modelled on the facility in Schenectady, New York, has been Kosherised and built in a way that allows for strict control over potential cross-contamination of GM or other ingredients.

It will cater for most of the leading food companies in Europe, contributing to a traditional growth rate at the firm of around 30 per cent annually.

The transfer of operations from Fortitech's facility in Niløse to the new plant in Gadstrup is expected to be completed by the end of February.

Related topics Markets

Follow us


View more