AAK to acquire BIC Ingredients to bolster presence in Europe’s lecithin market

NETHERLANDS – AAK, one of the leading suppliers of plant-based oils, is in the process of acquiring BIC Ingredients, the lecithin arm of BIC International Holding. 

According to a statement from the company, the acquisition will significantly increase its footprint in the European lecithin market and further its strategy of becoming a key supplier of specialty lecithin. 

Located in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, Noord-Brabant, Netherlands BIC Ingredients supplies non-GM specialty lecithin and lecithin compounds.  

Lecithin is a natural emulsifier produced from plant-based oils such as soy, sunflower, and rapeseed. 

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Upon successful acquisition, AAK plans to integrate BIC Ingredients’ products into its current portfolio of specialty lecithins, sold under the Akolec brand. 

With BIC, AAK will be able to greatly expand its product offerings, giving customers an opportunity for customers to source specialty lecithin ingredients alongside oils and fats from one supplier. 

“BIC Ingredients is a natural fit with our business. BIC’s existing lecithin customers will now be able to benefit from AAK’s unique customer co-development approach, which is driven by customer needs, built on collaboration, and geared for better success rates and lasting value,” says Alec van Veldhoven, commercial director at AAK Natural Emulsifiers.  

“This transaction will further enable BIC International Holding to increase its focus on plant-based protein through our entity BIC Protein,” adds Harro de Groot, CEO of BIC International Holding.  

AAK’s planned acquisition comes at a time when the lecithin market is gaining momentum in Europe with a number of suppliers expanding their product portfolio to prepare for an anticipated rise in demand.   

In June, Sternchemie unveiled SternPur S DH 50 – a hydrolyzed, de-oiled sunflower lecithin that was tipped as an “ideal alternative to artificial emulsifiers.” 

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The company also recently received a Generally Recognised As Safe (GRAS) “letter of no objection” from the US Food and Drug Administration for its range of sunflower lecithins.  

Also, in June, Bunge extended its distribution channel for lecithins in Europe through an exclusive agreement between its plant-based lipids business.  

The deal allows IMCD to distribute BLC’s complete BungeMaxx lecithin portfolio in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK. 

Meanwhile, earlier this month, French lecithin producer Novastell highlighted how the perception that organic products are better-for-you resonates with consumers, particularly Millennials.  

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