Consolidation in wine industry brings opportunities to Chr Hansen

Related tags Chr hansen Wine

Wine players are getting bigger and exposing their businesses to
greater risk as consolidation in the industry continues and to
ensure quality remains constant, Danish ingredients firm Chr Hansen
claims to offer the solution through its raft of industrial
bacterias, reports Lindsey Partos.

The €2 billion company pinpointed the wine industry as a potential market more than 12 years ago, building a pilot winery in southern France to test ingredients and work with customers to improve the wine process and quality.

The market has potential, with just 3 per cent of wines inoculated with industrial bacteria as the traditional wine industry relies on centuries-old natural wine formulations. Lionel Schmitt, sales and marketing manager at Chr Hansen, believes consolidation in the global wine market will drive growth for its industrial bacterias.

"In Australia for example four wineries cover 70 per cent of the market. Our products can eliminate some of the risk associated with the natural malolactic fermentation approach because they can secure production,"​ he told​.

Confidence in this potential market is born from the idea that largeness created through consolidation will breed a certain risk, both qualitative and quantitative.

The need to manage production in an industrial fashion grows with increasing size, added Schmitt.

But with 97 per cent of the global wine businesses using traditional techniques the market still needs some convincing.

The firm supplies a range of wine ingredients that cover bacteria cultures, enzymes and yeasts. Last year it launched a new bacterial strain for red wine with a high alcohol content (16-17 per cent): Viniflora CH16. The product removes malic acid "so that the wine-maker can assure the quality of high-alcohol wines"​.

And in a drive to pierce the €2 billion Chilian and Argentinian wine markets, that between them produce some 18 million hectolitres of wine, Chr Hansen linked up with other Danish firms earlier this year, including enzyme giant Novozymes, under the umbrella of WineTechAlliance. A marketing campaign backed by Danish consultants InterMark the consortium is aiming to build exports to the two New World countries to between DKK 10 (€1.34m) and DKK 20 million (€2.69m) by 2006.

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