Benecol licensing business
In 2015, Benecol licensing business focused on strategically important growth markets. This resulted in the opening of markets in China and South Korea. Sales in Benecol products in Asia increased by over 40 per cent.
Raisio's partner Lotte successfully launched Benecol products in South Korea in February 2015. Organic sales growth in Asia was also driven by our partner Kalbe's continued sales and marketing investments in Indonesia and the Philippines. Together with Kalbe, Raisio developed some interesting new products. Raisio has also helped Kalbe to open up new sales channels, which enables growth in these rapidly growing markets.
New launches in Asia
Together with our partner Neptunus, Raisio launched Benecol products in China in June 2015, and we managed to overcome regulatory challenges affecting the post-launch marketing communication of Benecol products. China has significant growth potential in the cholesterol-lowering category.
As a result of our long-term efforts, plant stanol ester, the Benecol product ingredient, obtained a regulatory approval in India. This enables further business development activities in the growing markets of India.
Intense competition continued in Europe
In Europe, Benecol took measures to protect its licensing partners' activities in the highly competitive cholesterol-lowering markets. Together with its partners, Raisio focused on the development and launches of new Benecol products. For example, our partner Minerva launched Benecol Max spreads in Greece.
A new Benecol partner started in Portugal at the beginning of 2016, so Portugal is no longer home market for Raisio's consumer products.
Olivio is Raisio's new partner in the USA
At the end of 2015, Olivio started as Raisio's new licensing partner in the US market and launched Benecol spreads. Raisio's long cooperation with Johnson & Johnson ended.
In South America, sales in Benecol products clearly increased, which reflects the growth potential of the area.
Focus on growth markets
Raisio continues its active efforts to open new Benecol markets, particularly together with its partners in Asia. At Raisio, we provide our partners with a recognised Benecol brand and our support in several areas from regulatory affairs and product development to sales and marketing.
In 2016, Benecol licensing business, together with its partners, continues to focus on expanding into new markets and on increasing its sales in the rapidly growing markets.