The regional application center in São Paulo, Brazil – the first in South America for the company – will enable the company to work with local manufacturers on formulations and recipes, tasting sessions and lab trials. The center will focus on a wide range of applications, including dairy, bakery and savory.
“Beneo is very strongly committed to the region and our investment in installing the center is part of it,” Juliana Hirata, recently-appointed MD of Beneo Latin America, told NutraIngredients-LATAM.
Beneo, Hirata said, had held a “strong presence” in Latin America for more than 20 years, with a particular focus on Brazil, Colombia, Argentina and Chile.
Opportunities and challenges in LATAM
Hirata said Beneo was committed to growing presence in Latin America through focused efforts on a more regional approach; targeting on-trend product areas and global health trends; and maintaining strong investment in research and development.
“Beneo is clear in its commitment to science as the basis of nutritional or physiological benefits and therefore continues its investments in nutrition science; gaining more insight into how nutrition contributes to health for the long-term benefit of consumers,” she said.
Sugar reduction, digestive health and prebiotics, for example, remained core focuses and opportunities for Beneo in Latin America, she said, as did blood sugar management and its role in weight management – areas previously identified by president of Beneo Inc Jon Peters.
However, Hirata also acknowledged growth would not be without its challenges, namely the difficulties in forecasting economic growth in the region and overcoming affordability hurdles among consumers.
“However, Beneo is continually working to make healthy eating as widely available as possible,” she said. “...As the business continues to grow, the company will focus on developing region-specific resources within LATAM that directly support consumer needs. Beneo is convinced that doing so, more consumers will be supported in following a healthier diet and lifestyle.”
Beneo built its first regional application center in Singapore in 2012, and has others in the US, Belgium and Germany.