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NATURE’S NO. 1™– Sustainably

Chr. Hansen’s strategy, NATURE’S NO. 1™, was launched in 2013 with the aim of capturing the full potential of Chr. Hansen’s core business and pursuing broader opportunities within microbial solutions by leveraging the company’s strong technology platform. The strategy was reviewed and reconfirmed in 2015/16 with minor adjustments, and relaunched in 2018 supporting macro trends, including global focus on sustainability. The next strategy review process will run in 2020/2021.

NATURE’S NO. 1™ focuses on three primary objectives:
  • Fully leverage the potential of Food Cultures & Enzymes
  • Develop the microbial solutions platform in Health & Nutrition
  • Creating further value in Natural Colors.

As part of the NATURE’S NO. 1™ strategy, Chr. Hansen will not:

  • Expand organically or through acquisitions in areas unrelated to the existing businesses within microbial solutions and natural colors
  • Attempt to become a full-fledged pharma company
  • Lose focus on cost control and operational efficiency.

Main conclusions of the 2018 review

The technology base – the Microbial Platform – that Chr. Hansen has is unique
The Microbial Platform is leveraged across all applications in Food Cultures & Enzymes and Health & Nutrition. This allows for knowledge sharing and synergies in R&D. Planned product launches over the next five years will support growth in all business areas. To stay ahead of competitors, and to increase the technology lead in key areas, continued investments in R&D are planned.

The main growth driver in Food Cultures & Enzymes will continue to be the core dairy business
Chr. Hansen has a very strong market position in the dairy space, supported by a technologically advanced product portfolio that is highly relevant for customers. Chr. Hansen will reinforce its market position, particularly in growth markets, by increasing application support to customers and by focused innovation of concepts that suit the requirements of these growth markets. The strong position in Dairy, Meat and Wine will continue to be leveraged through increased penetration of DVS® culture solutions, recruitment of new customers and upselling and cross-selling primarily of the existing product portfolio, to existing customers. The position will also be used, to a lesser degree, as a foundation for entering into near adjacencies, where Chr. Hansen technology will be offered in new market segments.

The new capacity in Copenhagen will continue to support margin development as the capacity utilization increases. New investments in dairy fermentation capacity as well as the freeze-drying value chain are planned. Digitalization of core Chr. Hansen processes, and the addition of new services based on data, which will augment the value of Chr. Hansen’s products to customers, will also be explored. 

Food Cultures & Enzymes is expected to grow organically by 7-8% per year. Bioprotection is expected to continue growing at a very strong rate and is targeted to reach EUR 200 million by 2025.

Health & Nutrition will pursue three separate strategies to capture the potential of microbes 
Microbial solutions have extraordinary potential to improve health for humans and animals and productivity in the agricultural sector. Chr. Hansen is exceptionally positioned to capture this potential

across both Human Health, Animal Health and Plant Health. Strong megatrends, such as awareness of the benefits of good bacteria for human well-being, the need to reduce the use of antibiotic growth promoters for livestock and pressure to reduce chemicals in crop production, support the business. 

New products for Human Health are expected to drive growth. The dietary supplements business is growing rapidly in emerging markets, and Chr. Hansen plans to expand its product offering for these growing segments to capture growth. In developed markets, existing and new products can achieve even higher market penetration. Human Microbiome will create new opportunities by using existing, conventional strains already used in other segments for new applications, as well as building partnerships to develop new microbial-based products.

Expanded market coverage, particularly in emerging markets, and a strengthened route to market, are expected to drive Animal Health growth. New product launches are also expected to support growth. The Plant Health platform holds the potential for Chr. Hansen to reach sales of EUR 100 million by 2025. The recent launches of Presence® and Quartzo® in Brazil, give Chr. Hansen a very strong position from which to grow. Recent regulations concerning chemical nematicides in Brazil have opened a window of opportunity that will increase penetration of microbial solutions.

Investments in capacity expansions over the period are planned.

Natural Colors will continue the strategy of increasing profitability while driving conversion
The potential to convert synthetic colors to natural colors in foods and beverages remains a very attractive growth opportunity. The reduction in complexity in the portfolio within Natural Colors has been completed. New products were launched in the FruitMax® range of coloring foodstuffs towards the end of 2017, providing a strong base from which to return to a higher revenue growth. An investment in a new production facility in the US was announced on 11 April 2018, and this will bring opportunities to streamline operations and also bring needed capacity. This investment will be phased over 2018/19 and 2019/20.



As a market leader, Chr. Hansen remains strongly positioned and committed to drive growth in specific niches within dairy and other food segments. Chr. Hansen’s technologies cater to emerging consumer and food market trends, and deliver high impact and value to its customers.

Future growth opportunities are mainly based on fundamental market growth – not least in emerging markets – and on continuing to convert bulk starter users to DVS® formats, introducing new culture and enzyme functionalities, and expanding the use of bioprotective solutions.

Food Cultures and Enzymes graphic


Chr. Hansen has opportunities to further expand margins, mainly through the increased production capacity put in place in 2016/17, and the ability to upsell solutions that bring added value to customers’ products and/or processes.


The key focus areas for Food Cultures & Enzymes in 2017/18 will be further developing the bioprotection market by way of a next-generation bioprotection product for dairy, strengthening Chr. Hansen’s position in emerging markets and starting to realize the benefit of the new production capacity in Copenhagen.



The business areas in Health & Nutrition are supported by global trends, such as increasing awareness of the adverse effects of antibiotics and chemical pesticides, resource scarcity, increasing health costs, and a growing scientific understanding of the benefits of “good bacteria.”

Chr. Hansen has opportunities to expand and grow its businesses in human and animal health through innovation in the form of new strains and new applications, and further penetration with key customers and in new geographies.

The product pipeline in plant health also offers attractive opportunities, and Chr. Hansen is currently conducting field trials to assess its potential.

Within the human microbiome area, Chr. Hansen sees significant potential to support partners in upscaling and establishing production processes, and several innovation collaborations are already well under way.

To support long-term growth in Health & Nutrition, a relatively high investment level will be maintained in innovation across all four business areas. Chr. Hansen will also pursue bolt-on acquisitions where these support existing business areas.

Human health and nutrition graphic 900x514


The key focus areas for Health & Nutrition in 2017/18 will be ensuring continued value creation from the two acquisitions: LGG® in human health and NPC in animal health; expanding the commercial reach to new geographies in animal health; strengthening and progressing the pipeline of products across the four business areas; and continuing to develop existing and new partnerships in the human microbiome, while also enhancing production expertise.



Increased regulation and growing consumer awareness are fueling the demand for cleaner food & beverage products, including natural ingredients. Chr. Hansen benefits from these trends, which are driving a fundamental long-term conversion from synthetic to natural colors. This trend has also started to materialize in the US market, pushed by consumer demand rather than regulation.

Chr. Hansen will ensure profitable growth, not least in the US, by strengthening the commercial organization, expanding the product offering within the FRUITMAX® coloring foodstuffs product range, improving cost-in-use solutions and optimizing the product portfolio of older products.

Profitability in Natural Colors has improved significantly – by 4.5 percentage points in two years – but is still below longterm expectations. Continued focus on optimization and simplification initiatives across the business offers opportunities to further increase profitability over the period.

Natural Colors Division graphic


The key focus areas for Natural Colors in 2017/18 will be continuing to drive the conversion from synthetic colors to natural colors, particularly in the US and emerging markets; developing a stronger position in coloring foodstuffs to ensure continued growth; and optimizing products and processes to further improve profitability.

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