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20 % higher global volume due to capacity increase of production facility in Chile by 2022

BENEO, one of the leading manufacturers of functional ingredients, has announced a significant expansion for its chicory root fibre production facility in Chile by 2022, funded by an investment of more than 50 million Euro. The news comes following rising demand for BENEO’s chicory root fibres, inulin and oligofructose, as consumer interest in digestive health continues to grow.

Worldwide consumers are paying more attention to their digestive health and are gaining further understanding of the intrinsic link between the gut microbiome and its beneficial effect on the overall well-being. This, in turn, is leading to a rising interest in chicory root fibres from food and drink manufacturers around the globe, creating a high market demand for BENEO’s inulin and oligofructose ingredients.

Eric Neven, Commercial Managing Director at BENEO-Orafti comments: “The market demand for chicory root fibre continues to increase. In order to keep up with this rising interest, we are investing significantly into expanding our production facilities in Pemuco, Chile. With 20 % more volume, BENEO can continue to ensure reliable and consistent delivery to our customers.”

As well as expanding production capacity at the Chilean plant, the raw material sourcing will be supported by additional surface (hectares) dedicated to chicory farming in the region. The existing plant already operates using 75% renewable energy. The recent investment will enable BENEO to make yet further strides against its aim to increase the use of renewable energy over the coming years.

Inulin and oligofructose, such as those produced by BENEO, are the only plant-based proven prebiotics according to ISAPP (International Scientific Association for Pro- and Prebiotics). They have been scientifically shown to support a range of functional health benefits, including a balanced gut microbiota and a person’s overall well-being. There is a wealth of scientific evidence available (in excess of 150 high quality studies) and Orafti® Inulin even has an exclusive 13.5 EU health claim for its promotion of digestive health, which is proving successful in various countries. In fact, only recently, industry expert Julian Mellentin highlighted the potential for inulin, naming it a top ingredient for 2020 in the new New Nutrition Business report, “10 Key Trends in Food, Nutrition and Health 2020”.

Not only are BENEO’s prebiotic chicory root fibres helping to bridge the fibre gap, they are also being widely used in both food and beverages as they help to reduce fat, sugar and calories. Unlike other fibres, BENEO’s fibres are naturally derived from chicory roots via a gentle hot water extraction method and are natural, clean label and non-GMO. They are highly soluble and have a mild natural taste, allowing manufacturers to reformulate their products while keeping the same taste, body and mouthfeel as the original options.

As digestive wellness continues to trend across the globe and more consumers come to realise the impact it has on their health, this significant production expansion will ensure BENEO is well-placed to maintain efficient delivery of its high quality ingredients throughout the years to come.

Promotional campaign will focus on boosting Chinese consumption of Chilean blueberries, cherries and other products during 2017-18 export season

The Chilean Fruit Exporters Association (ASOEX) has launched its 2017-18 export season for cherries, blueberries and other products in China with a workshop for importers at Shanghai’s Huizhan Fruit Market. At the event, the Chilean organisation presented the new season for fresh fruit exports, focusing special attention on table grapes, cherries, kiwifruit, avocados, plums and blueberries; exports that will be supported by promotions to encourage not only greater consumption, but also the positioning of Chile as the number one supplier of off-season fruits to China.

ASOEX’s Marketing Director for Asia and Europe, Charif Christian Carvajal, said: “We met with importers from the Huizhan Fruit Market in Shanghai, China with the aim of analysing last season’s Chilean fruit exports, and giving advance forecasts for the current campaign, focusing in particular on promotional work that we will carry out to encourage consumption of Chilean blueberries and cherries in China.”

As part of the 2017-18 season promotional campaign in China, ASOEX will hold meetings with fruit importers, buyers and distributors at the Guangzhou, Beijing, Shenyang and Chengdu wholesale markets, in addition to meeting with Shanghai-based importers.

Carvajal said that one of the aims of Chilean fruit sector was to gain access for Chilean fresh pears and citrus to China, as well as increasing consumption of cherries, blueberries, avocados and nectarines. He added that every one of the actions had been made possible thanks to the combined efforts of the Chilean fruit export sector and ProChile through the Promotional Fund for Agriculture Exports of Chile’s Ministry for Agriculture.

Chile is the leading exporter of fresh fruits to the Southern Hemisphere, explained Carvajal, having shipped more than 2.6 million tonnes of fresh fruits to different destinations during the 2016-17 season. Of this total, China accounted for 48.3 % of all Chilean fruit exports to Asia. In terms of products, table grapes were the most exported product to China from Chile during the season, accounting for 42 % of total exports to the country, followed by cherries at 23.5 %, plums at 11.7 %, kiwifruit at 7.6 %, avocados at 5.4 %, red apples at 5 % and blueberries at 3.2 %.

Planned promotions

The Huizhan event also included the participation of Steve Lee, Business Director of Publicis and Patti Sun, CEO of Publicis-partner BetterWay China who had the task of detailing the planned promotional actions for the campaign, including dates and locations. BetterWay China’s Patti Sun said that as well as including a continuing budget of US$5 million for its implementation, the campaign would increase the amount of cities involved.

“During the last campaign, we included 37 cities that corresponded to Tiers 1, 2 and 3, and this year we want to reach 58, which will also include Tier 4 and 5 cities and the potential for consumption they represent,” she said. “As well as this, to better coordinate and control the campaign, we will be hiring an expert in China.”
Publicis’ Steven Lee added that some of aspects of the campaign that would be enhanced this season by actions focused on E-commerce and wholesale markets.

“Although the results of the last campaign were very positive, there are aspects we would like to improve, particularly after gathering feedback from the Chilean fruit sector,” he explained. “For this reason, we are expanding work at an E-commerce level by continuing what we are already doing with T-mall and JD.com, but also increasing our participation on other platforms at a regional level. We will also be increasing our promotional actions for wholesale markets.”

Blueberries

Looking at the blueberry promotional campaign, Carvajal said this would begin with online promotional actions in collaboration with Miss Fresh App and KOL to generate messages on social media, as well as launching advertising on vending machines. The campaign will also include appearances in Chinese media outlets, such as CCTV, Sina, Ifeng, DTV, and others.

“In terms of point-of-sale marketing, we will be carrying out activities in 10 cities, three retail chains, three wholesale markets, 22 hypermarkets and 200 Pagoda specialist fruit shops; actions which we be key to boosting consumption of Chilean blueberries,” added Carvajal. “The activities will kick off two weeks before Chinese New Year, with the aim of directly reaching 308 people per store.”