Provexis favours functional focus
juice brand, but the decision may not herald the end of the
company's involvement in the functional beverage market, the group
Despite no longer producing its Sirco tomato juice brand, the group will continue to supply its fruit flow technology that underlined the products healthy heart claims to other companies. Provexis stressed that by working with established processors in food and beverage production, the company expected to better meet the demands of the functional ingredient market. "Provexis has taken the view that rather by facing the difficulties of pushing its own stand alone brands against multinational groups, it will instead work with partners to push their products in the market," a spokesperson said. Though unable to reveal who these companies were, the spokesperson added they were truly "global operators". The company therefore will look to focus away from food and beverage manufacture to predominantly supply and develops technologies like Fruitflow for processors. Besides beverage production, Provexis also hopes to supply a number of processors throughout dairy and food industries as well. The strategy is part of a plan to reposition itself solely as a "discovery, development and licensing business," the company said. In March this year, Provexis announced that it had signed a collaboration agreement with Unilever to develop an advanced form of Fruitflow. The two companies are using the same technology that underlies Sirco. Provexis claims Fruitflow has blood health benefits and wants to make it suitable for product types other than juice. However, some may question the move to fully cancel production of its own brands, considering the growing popularity of the Sirco brand. The UK-based company has reported revenues of £805,000, up from £267,000 in 2006 - most of which was generated by sales of Sirco in the UK. The drink was launched in early 2006 as a demonstration product. The company also reduced its operating loss to £2.27m from £2.68m. This growth reflects in general the growing demand globally for added-value products in both the food and beverage market. By expanding its presence into new segments through the partner strategy, the group expects to grab a bigger share of the health food market. Leatherhead Foods predicted last year that sales of heart health foods will rise by about 60 per cent over the 2004-2009 period to reach $5.7bn by 2009. The analyst said in its "Heart Benefit Foods" report that, until now, juice drinks have tended to have a general health positioning due to their antioxidant content, and it seems that heart health drinks' market is growing.