Netherlands – Sparkalis, the Belgium-based corporate venture arm of Puratos, has acquired a minority stake in the Netherlands’ Fooditive Group.

Fooditive is focused on creating vegan-friendly ingredients that are “healthier for consumers, better for the planet, and kinder to animals”. The company’s innovations include precision fermentation-produced honey and casein, as well as an upcycled calorie-free sweetener derived from apple and pear side streams.

Following the investment, Sparkalis managing director Filip Arnaut has joined Fooditive’s advisory board, which now numbers 11 food tech experts.

“Our partnership with Sparkalis will give Fooditive access to many countries worldwide where we do not already have a market presence,” said Fooditive’s CEO and founder, Moayad Abushokhedim.

“This will enable us to take our innovations to a wider audience, and in doing so, it brings about the changes that are needed to ensure the food supply chains of the future are truly sustainable.”

Puratos US adds a line to the Wisconsin chocolate plant

Meanwhile, in the US, Puratos US has inaugurated a newly installed new production line at its chocolate plant in Wisconsin, which has been delivered after an upturn in consumer demand.

According to the company, the investment in the fifth production line will assist in delivering a 20% increase in capacity for the business, which has gained a strong market share in premium brand projects across confectionery and bakery markets.

Significantly, Puratos has noted the region has experienced a surge in demand for better-for-you (BFY) chocolate, which is part of the company’s Belcolade brand produced in Belgium.

According to the chocolate giant, the facility produces high-protein, organic, non-GMO, and other special chocolate and cocoa products under its domestic Chocolante and Carat brands. It also will produce Cacao-Trace chocolate and compound coatings from Puratos’ sustainable cocoa sourcing program.

Andy Brimacombe, president of Puratos US said: “The types of products we have and the high quality that we have is resonating well with our customers. We’ve seen really strong growth over the last couple of years in volume. As a result, we’re continuing to invest in the business.”

“A lot of it is chips and chunks, that’s the most common format. Effectively, it gives us more capacity in those formats, which are our key formats and the ones selling well. We’re seeing the Better For You (BFY) market growing faster than the mainstream market.”

 “We’re trying to target the BFY segments with our products. We have the sugar-reduced and the dairy-free, which are particularly fast-growing segments within the market,” Brimacombe added.

He noted that the company has a phrase: ‘There’s no profit without sustainability. But there’s no sustainability without profit,’ which gives it a win-win play with farmers in several countries, including Ivory Coast, Vietnam, Mexico, and Papua New Guinea, that grow cocoa beans for its chocolate.

In addition, the company said it will stick to its Cacao-Trace sustainability program that strives to provide better wages for farmers and pay for schools, hospitals, and other infrastructure in their communities.

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