This is an excerpt from our annual report 2018/19
In Food Cultures & Enzymes, Chr. Hansen continues to prioritize the core dairy business whilst developing new adjacencies to outgrow the market and protect/expand its leading position. Overall, the segment is expected to reach the long-term financial ambition of 7-8% organic growth through the four growth drivers: fundamental market growth, pricing and market share gains; upselling and innovation; conversion; and adjacencies.
In the dairy business, Chr. Hansen focuses on bringing new product solutions and concepts for better functionality (e.g. low sugar, lactose-free or clean-label) and yield through upselling. The bioprotection lighthouse is an important strategic driver when it comes to innovation. Another priority remains the conversion of dairies from in-house bulk starter production to one of Chr. Hansen’s solutions, the DVS® products.
Adjacent areas including bioprotection outside dairy, fermented beverage solutions for low/no alcohol beer and fermented plant bases (‘dairy alternatives’) are becoming increasingly important. Here, the organization focuses on building application knowledge, executing on the innovation pipeline and developing relationships with new customer groups.
Finally, utilizing the expanded production capacity at the Copenhagen site which was completed in 2017/18 will drive scalability, and digitalizing core processes in production and R&D will increase efficiency.
In Health & Nutrition, Chr. Hansen has large growth opportunities to expand and grow the businesses through driving penetration of probiotics and reinforcing the position in growth markets globally.
For Human Health, the focus is on bringing new innovations to market, increasing penetration with key customers, expanding the position in emerging markets and raising awareness of the importance of scientific documentation of probiotic strains through collaborations with industry associations and key opinion leaders as well as a new brand positioning.
In Animal Health, the primary focus remains to further strengthen the route-to-market outside of North America whilst advancing the development of the next generation of animal probiotics.
In Plant Health, the Company seeks to further increase the penetration of its bionematicides Quartzo® and Presence® in sugarcane in Latin America whilst also driving adoption in other crops such as soybeans, cotton and coffee. The next strategic milestone for Plant Health is the US market entry in 2019/20 together with its partner FMC.
Increased regulation and growing consumer awareness are fueling demand for natural colors to replace synthetics. Whilst conversion is progressing at varying paces across regions, the growth prospects remain attractive. Chr. Hansen will focus on balancing the goal of outgrowing the underlying natural colors market and increasing the profitability of the business.
As part of the Nature’s no. 1 strategy, Chr. Hansen has defined three lighthouses which are new growth areas of strategic importance that have a revenue potential of at least EUR 100 million per year.
Bioprotection makes use of natural microbial food cultures to inhibit growth of unwanted contaminants, thereby preventing food spoilage and enhancing food safety. Depending on the market, bioprotection allows customers to replace chemical preservatives for cleaner labels, improve food safety against contamination, or extend shelf life and reduce food waste in the supply chain. Bioprotective cultures can be applied not only to dairy and fermented meat products but also to other, traditionally non-fermented foods that are exposed to a high risk of Listeria, opening up a completely new market and customer group for Chr. Hansen.
Today, bioprotection represents 7% of Food Cultures & Enzymes revenue. To reach the lighthouse target of EUR 200 million by 2025, the business unit focuses on increasing adoption amongst the existing customer base with special attention towards emerging markets. Continued efforts in R&D will allow further generations of bioprotection to come to market. Outside dairy, the strategic priorities encompass gaining application knowledge, building new customer relationships and engaging with regulators to get clarity on labelling requirements for this new technology.
Drawing on the Company’s microbial backbone, Plant Health develops microbial solutions with the goal of reducing the usage of chemical pesticides in crop farming. Together with its partner FMC, Chr. Hansen aims to expand the geographical reach beyond the Latin American market whilst increasing adoption levels in sugarcane and other crops. At the same time, Chr. Hansen invests in strengthening the R&D efforts and expanding the strain library to drive new innovations whilst exploring further partnerships. Plant Health has a 2025 target of EUR 100 million and today constitutes around 5% of Health & Nutrition revenue.
The Human Microbiome is a rapidly developing research field which aims to understand how the human microbiota influences health and the role microbes could play in treating diseases in the future. Chr. Hansen defined a lighthouse in 2013 to explore how to leverage the microbial know-how in this emerging field and develop relevant competencies.
In April 2019, an important strategic milestone was reached with the announcement of the 50/50 joint venture with Lonza. Together the two parties will invest EUR 90 million over the course of three years to establish a contract manufacturing organization to produce bacteria-based pharmaceuticals, so called live biotherapeutic products (LBP), for pharma and biotech firms that have discovered new strains with therapeutic potential.
Bacthera AG operates from its headquarters in Switzerland and expects to generate first revenue in 2020/21. Unlike the other two lighthouses, Bacthera AG will not affect Chr. Hansen’s Group guidance metrics as it will not be fully consolidated. Whilst the Human Microbiome lighthouse does not yet have a revenue target, the market is expected to reach a size of EUR 150-200 million by 2025 and of more than EUR 1 billion by 2035, and the joint venture expects to capture a meaningful share of both.