Kerry signs partnership with Unigrain to boost production of dairy alternatives in Asia-Pacific
Global ingredients, taste, and nutrition innovator Kerry Group has signed a new partnership with the Australian oat and grain producer Unigrain to develop high quality sustainable dairy alternatives for the plant-based market in the Asia-Pacific.
As a result of their collaboration, Kerry and Unigrain’s customers will be able to use each other’s distinctive portfolios of ingredients, R&D, and processing solutions to develop new flavourful and nutritious oat milks and other oat-based products using Australian-grown crops.
Both companies will recommend each other’s ingredients solutions to their clients with the goal of building a unique space for ingredients and processing partners to deliver top-grade sustainable food and drink. Kerry says it will also support Unigrain with technology development, applications, enzymes, flavours, masking ingredients, and nutrition.
Discussing the partnership, Christine Giuliano, Managing Director of Kerry Australia & New Zealand said in a statement: “We are excited to be collaborating with Unigrain. As our current supplier of oat flour, Unigrain is now our partner to drive an ambitious plant-based growth plan in keeping with Asia Pacific’s fast-growing dairy alternative industry, estimated at more than US$5bn, with an expected 16.3% CAGR to reach US$12bn by 2028. Combining our end-to-end capabilities with Unigrain’s unique oat expertise and production infrastructure, we are excited to be the force for change in the next phase of growth in the dairy alternative space.”
Co-CEO of Unigrain, Fiona May, also added: “We are proud to be partnering Kerry to help drive awareness, thought leadership and category growth in the dairy alternative sector. In the Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa region, oat milk has overtaken almond as the #2 dairy alternative among new product development in the region. As the leading oat expert in Australia and Asia, our investment in advanced oat milk and oat ingredient production will help drive multiple benefits to these markets. With our combined expertise, we provide an incredibly strong offering that can deliver highly optimised solutions and enable the development and manufacture of high-quality sustainable functional ingredients, bringing significant value to customers.”
Sustainable nutrition is one of the biggest trends for nutrition and health in 2023, according to Kerry. At Food Matters Live’s Inspiring Nutrition event earlier this year, Aoife Marie Murphy PhD, Sustainable Nutrition Manager at Kerry, explained that upcycling ingredients to be used in food production, eliminating food waste, and implementing ecolabelling were some of the key priorities in this sector.
Boosting production of plant-based solutions and plant-forward products are also on the agenda for 2023. According to Murphy, we should expect to see growth in novel plant-based solutions, which will provide vegan food and drink products with better taste, texture, and nutritional value. The plant-forward category is also predicted to deliver more minimally processed and nutrient-dense foods with an improved taste, and texture.