Chr. Hansen Natural Colors announced today that the company will be known as Oterra, effective immediately, and will begin the process to operate under the new name.
The new name, Oterra, is inspired by the Latin word for land. The rebranding reflects the company’s commitment to providing the world with color from natural sources and contributing to natural, authentic, safe and sustainable food. The ownership and personnel of the company have not changed.
CEO Odd Erik Hansen said: âWe’ve been producing natural colors for over 145 years now – our new name and brand identity is rooted in this proud heritage and reflects our belief that nature provides the best ingredients. We help our customers meet the growing global consumer demand for natural products using the power of nature’s true colors and our unmatched expertise in food, beverage and pet food colors.
He added that a name change became necessary after Chr. Hansen Natural Colors became a stand-alone company following its acquisition by Swedish private equity firm EQT in 2021. In April 2021, the company announced its first strategic investment with the acquisition of SECNA Natural Ingredients Group SL, a move that supports EQT’s solid growth plans for the business.
âWe are no longer part of the Chr. Hansen Group. Choosing a name that now focuses entirely on naturalness and who we all are was the natural choice for us. It marks us as an independent color-driven company that sets us apart from the larger group we were previously a part of. “
He said the move would allow him to strengthen his leadership position in natural colors. âAs a stand-alone company focused on natural colors, we breathe and think natural colors. We have already shown with our first acquisition of SECNA that we are ready to grow and invest strategically in the development of our business and strengthening our skills to better serve consumer demand for more natural colors than our customers are trying to satisfy. “
He added that the company was considering other acquisition goals. âWe want to strengthen our base in natural colors and find complementary assets that help us bring important raw materials, new colors and pigments to our portfolio. We fully plan to continue adding to the list of acquisitions over the coming years. “
Wendy Walsh, head of brand communications and marketing at Oterra, added that the company is committed to meeting the increased desire of end consumers to avoid unnatural dyes in foods and beverages.
âToday’s consumers know what they are eating. They want food to be made with recognizable ingredients and want to understand how it’s made. Obviously, consumers want to move away from artificial ingredients. Of course, this is more difficult in some cases than in others, but we have a full portfolio of almost 1000 products and it is possible to switch to natural colors for almost any application and almost any color. We know that’s what consumers want. “
Hansen highlighted the challenges the company faces as it continues to explore natural colors. âWe work with truly natural product sources and these products have different degrees of stability in different product applications. Therefore, understanding how each individual color pigment behaves in this solution is an important thing and it is one. things that we pride ourselves on being really good at. Second, red isn’t just red, for example. We have red from many different sources, whether it’s a beetroot or a beetroot. sweet potato, so we can offer red pigments from many different sources which then have different stabilities and work better or worse in different food formulations. Bringing this completeness to our customers is a key part of making the switch to natural colors work.
Trends in organic, vegetal, clean label and catering
He added that the company is looking to add more organic colors to its line that it hopes to release later this year. Other industry trends the company wants to capitalize on include plant-based labeling and clean lean. These two trends are linked, Walsh said, as companies attempt to make a new generation of herbal products with fewer ingredients. She added that the restaurant industry is increasingly looking for natural color options and would be an area of ââgrowth to watch despite the industry currently ravaged by the pandemic.
âBefore COVID, in the UK and US, more people ate their meals in a food service than in the grocery store. When people buy freshly prepared food, there is no label. ingredient, but they still want the food to be natural and authentic using good ingredients. So it’s a place of real growth for us. “
The Oterra name will be included in the company’s global operations and the company is looking to invest in a global platform. It plans to establish a new production facility in North America over the next two years. It also recently moved to a new production facility in China and is currently improving its plant in Peru.
Cees de Jong, Chairman of the Board of Oterra, said: âThe Board of Directors is very excited to relaunch under the Oterra name – a name and identity that epitomizes our purpose and sustainable value proposition. We anticipate strong growth for Oterra and are confident that the company will accelerate its development under its new brand. “