Nutrient Premix Supplier

As the market for functional beverages and foods continues to expand, the demand for premix companies is heating up. Once a kind of weak sister to the flavor house, the premix company has come into its own by developing a broad assortment of nutrient mixes for beverage makers.

For beverage marketers, the claims are becoming as important as the flavor – and the ability of premix houses to deliver the proper mix puts the proof or lie to them. Additionally, technology is allowing those vitamin mixes a new level of solubility, meaning that they are more evenly dispersed in the beverages, creating the opportunity for better, more accurate flavors that are uninhibited by off-tastes.

Nevertheless, premix companies are still kind of odd birds: like flavor companies, they develop products for numerous applications. We couldn’t find any that only service beverage markets. Still, at a time when the vast majority of functional products are beverages, it shouldn’t be hard to find one that can fill your needs.

BevNET Innovation went into the field to find out a bit more about some of these premix companies.

BY JEFFREY KLINEMAN

Fortitech

INTERVIEWEE: Rich Schlief, Director of Marketing

Could you please supply some basic information about your company?

Our two founders started 20 years ago, basically working out of a garage, after seeing a need for premixes in the supplement industry. Now we’re over a $100 million company. It’s a great story. We’re global, with six locations, 350 employees. The bulk of our people are in manufacturing.

Currently, what kinds of beverage premix offerings do you have? If there is a specific area of nutrition, function, or materials type that your company specializes in, can you please describe it?

The thing is, everything is custom – it’s not like we have a specific pre-selling one. It’s all based on the manufacturers’ specifications and what they want to put on the label. We work with them to meet a premix that meets the specification we have or a label claim they’re trying to achieve. Depending on all of these things, a custom premix would be built to meet that specification

What are the most popular kinds of blends you offer?

We can pretty much fortify anything – if you can consume it we can fortify it. If you were to identify the most vibrant and creative application, I’d say it’s definitely functional beverages. Categorizing it further, I’d say overall health and wellness – it’s trending toward health-condition specific: people are turning to beverages for total overall wellness, but now they’re looking for cardiovascular disease, weight management, gut health. The nutrients that are increasing exponentially are the B-complexes, taurine, vitamin C, antioxidants, caffeine.

Are there any new innovations in product type or existing product evolution that your company has brought to market recently? Which of your products are having the most impact on the market?

Everything is custom – there’s no off-the-shelf product we produce. We can source over 1200 different nutrients. There isn’t one thing we’re super-proud of.

Basically, we’re the only company globally that’s dedicated to premixes. Our single defining factor is experience. We have over 20,000 premixes. It’s an in-depth science. Major factors include appearance, taste, texture and stability – it’s a massive equation and we’re constantly tinkering.

Where do you see the demands from beverage companies heading in the future with regard to the types of premix products they want? What are the greatest challenges when it comes to filling those kinds of needs?

The hardest thing, the biggest barrier is they need to define how targeted their product is going to be. The more specific they are from a marketing standpoint, you’ve got to have your ducks in a row before you start ordering stuff.
How do most beverage companies go about doing business with you?

We try to make our web site a first stop from a technical standpoint. Visitors can listen to podcasts, webinars, they can read reports, and we encourage people, once they get in there, to use it. We’re visible at trade shows, and we’ve got a 24-7 web site with technical advisors available. Customers can request samples or call us – we’d send them a premix sample free of charge – and we’ll work with them from the start about their product.

Fortitech
Riverside Technology Park
2105 Technology Drive
Schenectady, NY 12308DSM

INTERVIEWEE: Todd L. Sitkowski, Senior Marketing Manager, and Gus Castro, Technical Marketing Manager, Beverages

Could you please supply some basic information about your company?

DSM Nutritional Products is the industry’s premier supplier of fat and water soluble vitamins, carotenoids for coloration and fortification and custom nutrient blends, as well as Omega-3 & 6 Long Chain Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids, and nutraceuticals. DSM Nutritional Products has global research and development, manufacturing, distribution, clinical research and marketing capabilities. DSM Nutritional Products had annual sales of $3.15 M USD in 2007 (which includes Animal Nutrition, Personal Care, Dietary Supplements as well as Food and Beverage). Worldwide, DSM Nutritional Products employs 6,384 persons and has 40 sales offices.

Currently, what kinds of beverage premix offerings do you specialize in? If there is a specific area of nutrition, function, or materials type, can you please describe it?

Virtually an unlimited array of offerings. The vast majority of premixes we develop are unique to our customers based on their goals and objectives and our market insight, nutritional knowledge and technical expertise in developing nutrient blends. Many of our blends contain vitamins, minerals, carotenoids, nutraceuticals and other third-party raw materials for unique functional blends based on nutrition science and market research information.

DSM Nutritional Products is the world’s leading supplier of vitamins, carotenoids and nutraceutical ingredients as well as premixes. We maintain our tradition as a pioneer in the development of scientifically based products, new formulations and attractive application for the industry segments we serve of which the beverage segment is one of the biggest.

What are the most popular kinds of blends you offer?

DSM provides blends that range from a simple A-C-E antioxidant blend (Vitamins A, C and E) to the other extreme, which are energy drink blends containing vitamins at high RDI levels and some minerals but also herbal extracts such as guarana and ginseng, as well as other functional ingredients like caffeine, taurine, d-ribose, inositol and amino acids. At present, we see functional waters, sports and energy drinks and RTD teas as sub-segments of the beverage industry that are growing at the highest rate. Recent trends in the launching of new products in these sub-segments are related to condition-specific beverages, natural and organic drinks and functional or fortified teas, coffees and enhanced waters.

Are there any new innovations in product types or else evolutions of existing products that your company has brought to market recently? Which of your products are having the most impact on the market?

DSM has a number of new innovative products that have energized the beverage market recently. Our Dry Vitamin E 15% CC is our Crystal Clear product form for beverage applications. It is an easy-to-use powder which disperses in cold water and provides a clear and colorless emulsion with good stability and no ringing. The product is ideal for fortifying waters and clear juice-based beverages with Vitamin E. Caffeine-free Teavigo is fast becoming a popular source of EGCG and green tea extract for beverage manufacturers worldwide. Teavigo is highly purified EGCG isolated from green tea extract. PeptoPro has been an extremely interesting addition to the Sports Drink arena. PeptoPro acts like a “predigested” protein and is therefore well tolerated before, during and after exercise. Several Olympic teams, including the Dutch Olympic Team have made it their drink of choice.

Where do you see the demands from beverage companies heading in the future with regard to the types of premix products they want? What are the greatest challenges when it comes to filling those kinds of needs?

DSM believes that as the beverage market becomes saturated with ‘me-too’ type products that marketers will have to find ways to differentiate their products – beyond packaging and labeling – by the addition of clinically proven functional ingredients into their products that appeal to the consumer market they are targeting. This will require premix providers to not only provide safety data for the products they include in their blends, but also substantiate that those functional ingredients are clinically proven to work.

The challenge will be rationalizing the added cost per serving with the delivered benefits and differentiation to a beverage product.

How do most beverage companies go about doing business with you?

DSM Nutritional Products has a sales team that covers the US and Canadian markets. We also have Technical Marketing Managers that assist with product application opportunities and Technical Premix Managers that specialize in formulating premixes for our customers. In addition, we also have for support our Account Management Center which handles customer orders and inquiries. We can be reached at 1-800-526-0189 or visit us at our website www.unlimitednutrition-na.dsm.com. Beverage companies may visit www.pourontheprofits.com for more information on DSM’s beverage capabilities.

DSM
DSM Food Specialties USA, Inc
45 Waterview BLVD.
PARSIPPANY, NJ 07054

Watson, Inc.

INTERVIEWEE: Vanessa Teter, Food Technologist

Could you please supply some basic information about your company?

It’s about 250 employees; a small company. We started as a baking supply company.

Currently, what kinds of beverage premix offerings do you have? If there is a specific area of nutrition, function, or materials type that your company specializes in, can you please describe it?

We’re in a variety of products ranging from infant formula to Ensure, to energy beverages. You name something, we’re in it. We also do capsules and bars.

What are the most popular kinds of blends you offer?

A lot of our premixes for the beverage industry today are targeting energy beverages. We get request after request for Red Bull and Monster-type products. Now we get Vitaminwater as well, and even a few of the Slim-Fast types.

The energy market has not slowed down at all – some people have seen some slowing – but we’re still getting questions about B-vitamins and caffeine.

The other thing we’ve also seen is everyone keeps saying “natural.” We don’t really have any of that – it’s hard to when you produce nutritional additives – but the people who try to go the natural route ask for ginseng, guarana and teas.

Are there any new innovations in product type or existing product evolutions that your company has brought to market recently? Which of your products are having the most impact on the market?

A lot of times we hear ‘we want a clear beverage, no cloud, a tint of color is okay, but we want clear.’ So we’ve designed a beta carotene that’s pretty much clear and colorless. It’s pink, but there’s no cloud to the beverage. We also have a vitamin E powder and a vitamin E gel. I think people are scared to use the gel, but it’s so concentrated – they’ve had very high success in putting them both into beverages.

Where do you see the demands from beverage companies heading in the future with regard to the types of premix products they want? What are the greatest challenges facing you when it comes to filling those kinds of needs?

Everybody, at least lately, wants to fortify their beverages to at least 50 percent of the recommended daily allowance. And it’s like, thiamine tastes horrible. So taste is the biggest obstacle – the higher the concentration, the harder it is to mask. That’s the biggest difficulty.

How do most beverage companies go about doing business with you?

People will come to IFT, or people will come to different suppliers, and we’ll formulate a premix that’s suitable to an application – we’re more than happy to tweak things. We have a lot of sales reps and a strong reputation.

Watson, Inc.
301 Heffernan Drive
West Haven CT 06516Equichem

INTERVIEWEE: Anna Lovis, Principal Account Manager

Could you please supply some basic information about your company?

We are a family-owned company in Carol Stream, Illinois. We were founded in 1980 and supplied flour/cereal milling ingredients (vitamin and mineral premixes for flour fortification) and then slowly branched out to specific vitamin and mineral premixes for the energy and sport drinks and grew from there. We have three family members working full-time and running the business.

Currently, what kinds of beverage premix offerings do you have? If there is a specific area of nutrition, function, or materials type that your company specializes in, can you please describe it?

We formulate and manufacture vitamin and mineral premixes for all different beverage types including dairy milk, soy, energy, and juice beverages.

What are the most popular kinds of blends you offer?

We are seeing beverage trends leaning toward more demographic specific products, such as formulas for women, men, and children. We are seeing more products for specific targets, such as blends for immunity, joint health, multi-vitamin, skin enhancing, etc., as opposed to general “energy” or “electrolyte” formulas.

Are there any new innovations in product type or existing product evolution that your company has brought to market recently? Which of your products are having the most impact on the market?

We are working on custom premixes that work with those lines that address specific product marketing, lately being things like joint care, heart healthy formulas, and immunity blends. These premixes help beverage companies target products they want to pursue to market and sell based on what interest they are receiving from consumers and trends. They also help companies extend their existing lines, too.

Where do you see the demands from beverage companies heading in the future with regard to the types of premix products they want? What are the greatest challenges when it comes to filling those kinds of needs?

The major obstacles that beverage companies face in incorporating vitamin and mineral premixes is working with flavor profiles that blend well to mask the unappealing or strong flavors of vitamins, minerals, herbs, and nutraceuticals. This can be quite challenging as many companies have a great-tasting beverage and then they inquire about enhancing it by adding these premixes. Usually the original flavor profile has to be altered to incorporate these blends.

Another obstacle is protecting and keeping the activity of the vitamins and minerals intact through processing. Since beverages usually go through some sort of pasteurization, that means high heat is involved in their production, which can destroy the activity of the vitamins.

How do most beverage companies go about doing business with you?

We receive requests from companies to help them launch beverages that they want to produce; and provide the premix profiles desired. Sometimes it is a long process, from R&D bench top testing, to product test markets, and finally to a full product launch, but it is always a nice feeling to see the final product in the market! We have been growing mainly by word of mouth, references, and through satisfied repeat customers.

Equichem
510 Tower Boulevard
Carol Stream, Illinois 60188-9426