Vitiva reports strong growth on rosemary extracts

By staff reporter

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Rosemary extract Preservative Food preservation Food additive

Extracts firm Vitiva has reported strong first quarter results on
the back of an aggressive expansion strategy.

The Slovenia-based company said that first quarter results for 2006 versus first quarter results for 2005 showed significant growth of 250 per cent in sales and improved profitability.

"Vitiva is delivering strong, sustainable earnings growth,"​ said Ohad Cohen, Vitiva's CEO. "We wouldnt have achieved these outstanding results without our excellent team management and devoted employees."

Cohen said that the strong results were the result of a long-term strategy, supported by the firm's owners, Aktiva Invest.

"In the future we will maintain the long-term financial targets, but we will focus even more on top line growth and market-expanding activities,"​ he said.

The herb - a good source of vitamin A, B6 and C, thiamin, magnesium, and iron - has traditionally been used in cooking and to relieve muscle spasms.

The introduction of the nutrient in food preservation is fairly new on a commercial level. But its increasing acceptance in mainstream food processing comes as firms are under growing pressure to eliminate artificial additives.

Recent initiatives include the establishment of several joint adventures with leading pharmaceuticals companies in Europe, and setting up new sales network in Europe, North America, Middle East and South America. This has helped promote Vitivas product lines in both traditional and new markets.

In addition, the company has developed innovative products to answer the fast growing demand of natural antioxidants based on rosemary extract.

"We have developed new products for new applications such as the new line of Inolens, a speciality odourless rosemary extracts,"​ said Cohen.

"Vitivas innovation and tailor-made solutions help rosemary extract to become an important part of many applications where rosemary could never be considered as a player before."

Vitiva is also capitalising on growing demand for more natural ingredients. Chemical-derived synthetic preservatives are becoming fraught with bad press as more and more consumers scrutinise ingredients lists, pushing food makers to source natural preservatives, such as rosemary extract, instead.

This is amounting to a swell of opportunity for Vitiva, which has already expanded its product line into Norway, Britain and Ireland over the past few months.

Market analysts Global Information still pitch the traditional global food preservative market at $508.4bn, reaching $627.9bn by 2008 thanks to a buoyant annual growth rate of 4.1 per cent - indicating that natural alternatives have a long way to go before they indent this profitable industry.

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