Successful match: Ojah takes the leap into Germany
Ojah, manufacturer of the Beeter fish and meat replacement, is expanding its market and taking its soy-based products across the border. Finding a German distributor proved easy after the company took part in two Route2Market sessions in 2012 and in the Food2Market Open Innovation Session accompanying the PLMA in 2013.
Ojah exhibited its innovative meat replacement products, known for their meat-like texture, at the PLMA's Food2Market-sponsored Brabant Pavilion. There, Ojah Sales Director Jeroen Willems met two representatives of Recker Convenience, the company behind LikeMeat, a new German supplier of meat substitutes based on Beeter. The meeting was the first step towards a successful cooperation deal. “Food2Market has been instrumental in the process of finding the right partner in Germany,” says Willems. “We knew we had a product that would do well on the German market, but we didn’t know where to start. The Food2Market sessions helped us focus our efforts and really paved the way for our leap across the border.” Ojah recently expanded upon its basic Beeter products with a range of ready-to-use products for the consumer market. Several products in this Beeter Prepared [BeeterBereid] range are exported to Germany, where Recker Convenience packages and distributes them. The new line of meat substitutes is marketed under the LikeMeat brand and sold by Kaiser’s Tengelmann and Edeka supermarket chains.
Sharing equipment for R&D purposes
RVJ Eurasia used Food2Market’s Facility Sharing services to source equipment for its pilot project on drying mangoes and pineapples.
RVJ Eurasia is testing an innovative drying technology to enhance the quality of hot-air dried tropical fruits from India, Thailand, Mexico and Ghana. Renuka Nalla, Director of EU Operations at RVJ Eurasia, explains how Food2Market has helped in this process. “For our R&D project I was looking for pilot drying equipment we could use rather than buy. Using Food2Market’s Food Facilities Portal, I found an Agitated Thin Film Dryer at Bodec, which was relatively close by. Food2Market helped us contact Bodec and now we work closely with them. It’s been very fruitful. We’ve really benefited from Food2Market and the Facility Sharing Portal!”
Cucumber growers cut out the middleman
Cucumber growers who want to sell their produce directly to retailers asked Food2Market for help. An open innovation session got them off to a good start.
For Kompany, a sales organization for several Dutch cucumber growing co-ops, the big question was: “How do we find retailers?” As Kompany’s Operational Director Huub Welles put it: ”We had no direct contacts in retail. So we decided to approach Food2Market, whose transnational network was exactly what we needed access to.”Food2Market organized a special open innovation session for Kompany with various food professionals ranging from supermarket chain category managers to food process engineers. “One session was enough to point us in the right direction: branding, short distribution channels and new products. Food2Market not only helped us find retailers, they also paved the way for us to request innovation subsidies. This led others to start a research project into potentially valuable ingredients in cucumbers. If this results in new products, we won’t hesitate to call on Food2Market again!”
Fish for the German market
Rodé Vis participated in the Route2Market Food Service event organized by Food2Market in 2012. Food2Market offers support to companies that are poised to break into neighboring markets and looking for trading partners.
Rodé Vis is a fish processing company located in Urk. Specialized in het filleting, portioning and smoking salmon, the company also produces high-convenience products: cooked fish filet portions that meet the strictest standards of size, weight, taste and quality. These products are mainly sold to airline caterers. “We're convinced that they are also perfect for the institutional market, company and school cafeterias and event catering,” says Frank Baiko, International Sales Manager at Rodé Vis. “In that respect, Germany is a very attractive market for us. During this Route2Market event, we came into contact with Frau Siebert-Herzig of ASH Projekte in Paderborn. With support from the German Institute of Food Technologies, Siebert-Herzig took a quick inventory of the company and school cafeteria market. In just a few phone calls, she identified potential contacts and put us in touch with them. We introduced our company to them and now we're working on a follow-up. Not a bad score for attending a one-day free event!” says Baiko with a smile.
Upcycled veggie fibers used as healthy ingredient in food products
Veggiefiber made extensive use of Food2Market’s services. The company took part in a Co-creation session and the Route2Market Event, and received advice from local experts.
Veggiefiber upcycles ‘rejects’ from the vegetable and potato processing industry into vegetable fibers for use as a healthy ingredient in food products. There is nothing wrong with these rejects, other than that they do not meet the aesthetic standards of the food manufacturer, i.e. they are too small, not straight enough or have a dry spot. Veggiefiber turns such ‘waste’ into healthy fibers that can be added to other food products. It is new and unique to sell such discarded products as an ingredient that increases the healthiness of foodstuffs. Veggiefibers have a positive effect on the texture and structure of many food products. They are glutenfree and reduce the caloric content of a product while adding dietary fiber, which is generally considered to have a positive effect on human health. “The Co-creation session with consumers and other companies sparked an idea for a healthy snack for young adults,” says Piet Nell, Marketing Director at Veggiefiber. “But the session was good for more than just a new idea, we also found a new business partner with whom we are now co-developing soups. The Route2Market event was useful for other reasons. We are interested in selling our product internationally and taking it to the German and Flemish markets, so we were happy to get practical information on the food service and retail markets there. Meeting with local experts who know the respective markets was very helpful. And at the Food Valley Expo we retrieved detailed information from a database containing newly introduced products in various product categories in Germany and Flanders.”