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New US-based natural colors center of excellence

Press release   •   Oct 17, 2011 11:00 UTC

Chr. Hansen’s US headquarters in Milwaukee, Wisconsin cuts the ribbon to its new ‘Global Expertise Center’ for natural color solutions to the international prepared foods industry.

Due to continued strong demand for natural colors, Chr. Hansen has expanded application lab and R&D staff in Milwaukee, Wisconsin to be the go to center for advice and accurate information for switching to natural colors in the prepared foods category. In the new Global Expertise Center Chr. Hansen natural color specialists will assist its customers solve their technical issues and help them protect their brands' equity by converting to natural colors.

According to a Leatherhead Food Research report, the 2009 global food colors business reached $1.5 billion. Of that, natural colors consisted of $525 million or 36%. In the US, use of natural colors represents 57% — or $230 million of the nation's $405 million for food colors in 2009. Leatherhead estimates the global market for food colors will reach $1.6 billion by 2015, and that the US market for natural colors will reach $265 million by 2012.

Times are changing
”The health and wellness platform is driving healthier eating habits and thus the growth in natural colors,” comments Kurt Seagrist, Senior Vice President, Chr. Hansen Inc. “Unlike Europe where recent legislation requires a warning label on food products if synthetics are used, there is no such regulation in the US market and therefore no conclusive data. While Chr Hansen does not foresee food legislation changing in the near future, continued consumer interest is driving new product development with US food companies to use natural colors.”

Of all product launches using natural colors in the first half of 2011, bakery accounted for 13.3%, sauces and seasonings 9.6% and ready-to-eat meals 8.0%, according to Innova Market Insights. “This indicates a desire to convert to natural colors in the prepared foods category,” notes Peter Gower, Business Development Director, Prepared Foods, who has been recruited to head up the new Global Expertise Center.

Apart from Milwaukee, US Chr. Hansen has a ‘Global Expertise Center’ in its corporate headquarters in Hoersholm, Denmark which focuses on natural colors for confectionery and ice cream, and one in Montpellier, France which specializes in natural colors for beverages, dairy, fruit preparations and phytonutrients.

Chr. Hansen is a global bioscience company that develops natural ingredient solutions for the food, nutritional, pharmaceutical and agricultural industries. The products include cultures, enzymes, probiotics and natural colors, and all solutions are based on strong research and development competencies coupled with significant technology investments. Revenue in the 2013/14 financial year was EUR 756 million. The company holds a leading market position in all its divisions: Cultures & Enzymes, Health & Nutrition and Natural Colors. It has more than 2,500 dedicated employees in over 30 countries and main production facilities in Denmark, France, USA and Germany. Chr. Hansen was founded in 1874 and is listed on NASDAQ OMX Copenhagen.

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