Ganeden: Kerry deal allows us to fast-track Asia probiotics strategy

By Gary Scattergood

- Last updated on GMT

Irish food giant Kerry acquired Ganeden last month.
Irish food giant Kerry acquired Ganeden last month.

Related tags Japan South korea

Probiotic supplier Ganden says its recent acquisition by Kerry Group will allow it to fast-track the growth of its products in Asia, with China and India having bene identified as two markets that are "impossible to ignore".

Prior to the acquisition, US-based Ganeden had worked with several Kerry divisions for many years, leading CEO Michael Bush to call the deal a union of "two well-matched organisations"​.

Before the deal was announced, Ganeden had been striving to drive sales in Asia, most notably in China and in South East Asia's emerging markets.

According to Stephen Quinn, business and regulatory director for Asia at Ganeden, this process will now be sped up.

"Joining the Kerry team provides us with an immediate infrastructure of contract manufacturers, blenders, and local representation in nearly every country,"​ he said.

"China and India are impossible to ignore, if only for the sheer size of the markets, but even beyond that, the region has a booming middle class that understands the benefits of functional foods and can afford them.

"Additionally, countries like Korea, Taiwan, and Japan already have a sophisticated customer base, a more developed economy and a history of probiotic products."

New applications

"The Kerry partnership allows us to skip years in the process of developing local presence. Kerry's existing resources, particularly the employees on the ground, will make it much easier to develop new applications for customers and to provide local support for our customers and distribution partners," ​Quinn continued.

He said Asia's relatively immature probiotic market offered great scope for growth, and has high expectations for functional beverages, as well as sports nutrition and meal replacement products.  

"Because the cold supply chain infrastructure is less developed, powdered beverages will also play a key role in development," ​he added.

He also said the deal would help boost research and development around Ganeden's exisiting products.

"Before the merger, Ganeden had developed a clinical portfolio to support probiotic, digestive, immune and protein utilisation claims. We anticipate that the Kerry partnership will help us strengthen those claims and allow us to build upon them.

"Joining with Kerry will also provide us with greater resources to explore and further support claims."

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