DuPont eyes increased food and nutrition focus to boost 2012 sales growth

By Caroline Scott-Thomas

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Nutrition

DuPont eyes increased food and nutrition focus to boost 2012 sales growth
An increased focus on food and nutrition is expected to become a major sales growth driver at DuPont in 2012, according to the company’s executive vice president James Borel.

DuPont had sales of about $38bn in 2011 and its role in food and nutrition has accelerated, particularly with the acquisition of Danish specialty food ingredient company Danisco in May last year. Sales in the nutrition and health segment hit $806m during the fourth quarter of 2011, with $468m of that from the acquisition of Danisco, the company said.

Speaking at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch 2012 Global Agriculture Conference, Borel said that the company expects to benefit from its multiple food-related platforms in food, nutrition, and agriculture, especially in the context of growing global food demand.

“With a growing population, expanding middle class and rapid urbanization in developing economies, DuPont’s Agriculture and Nutrition & Health businesses are equipped to deliver innovative, market-based solutions to address one of the world’s most critical challenges,”said Borel. 

He said that although the company’s Agriculture and Crop Protection segments continue to bring some of the highest sales and margin returns – with margins expected to expand to 20-22% – compounded annual sales growth in Nutrition & Health is expected to hit 7-9% with pre-tax margins of 12-14%, strengthened by the integration of Danisco.

The company has also said it will increase R&D in food and nutrition. Just last month, DuPont said that it intends to invest $10bn in food and nutrition research over the next nine years, as part of its effort to meet the challenge of feeding a growing global population.

“DuPont’s food-related businesses are uniquely positioned to compete because of advantages including sound science, relevant product portfolio, diverse route-to-market and manufacturing process capabilities,”the company said.

Borel highlighted the Nutrition & Health segment’s range of ingredients for reducing sugar, fat and salt, and its focus on reducing food waste and carbon emissions.

He said:“Our momentum is driven by our dedication to ensuring the right local solution for our customers, thereby ensuring safe, nutritious food is available to every person.”

The company added:“Following last year’s acquisition of Danisco, DuPont is poised to take full advantage of its direct route-to-market structures into many end markets to work both with multinationals as they expand and local food companies as they emerge.”

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