Oscar Goddijn, CEO, as he steps down and hands the reigns to Andrew Ohmes of Cargill
Since Avansya’s establishment in 2019, our journey has been marked by both gratifying wins and difficult challenges. Taking a moment to reflect on these three years, as I step down from my role as CEO, reveals just how much progress this hard-working team has made. Milestone after milestone, we stayed true to our promise to bring zero-calorie, great-tasting, non-artificial – and dare I say game-changing – fermentative Stevia sweeteners to society in a sustainable way. We are still working to fulfill this purpose, and the future looks as promising as ever as my successor, Andrew Ohmes, takes over as CEO.
Hitting the sweet spot
From the start dsm-firmenich and Cargill have steered Avansya as one team committed to this shared purpose. Building from the ground up, and using our complementary strengths, we have laid the foundation for success. Our production team has proven our fermentation technology and achieved the sweet spot between scale and cost. Our R&D team tackled ambitious targets year after year and continues to collaborate with customers on new products and applications for our flagship product, EVERSWEET®. In fact we just recently developed solutions to bring EVERSWEET® into the fountain beverage and chocolate industries – two very exciting applications with lots of opportunity.
This momentum continues to propel our market traction – we have doubled our turnover each year, and we are securing further regulatory approvals to register EVERSWEET® in new markets. These have not been the easiest years to grow a new business, and yet customer uptake is robust. In part this is because our promise and purpose remain unchanged, and we continue to work hard to deliver on it. But there is also an elevated and more urgent conversation about health and diet, and by extension sugar reduction, happening in the wake of the pandemic.
An urgent need takes center stage
Increasingly our direct customers, as well as consumers, are more convinced of the need to take action on sugar reduction. Those struggling with weight management faced even tougher challenges as a result of COVID, and this ripple effect continues. Meanwhile there is increasing scrutiny of artificial sweeteners, and their impact on people as well as the planet. These forces are coming together and shining a spotlight on the need for an entirely new kind of natural sweetener that can be produced sustainably and in volume.
Meeting this need has always been at the core of what we do here. But this more intense spotlight is also shifting the way we approach sustainability in our industry. We are examining it from many angles – supply, energy consumption, production – and this analysis is becoming more ingrained in how we bring new products to the market. It’s a thought process that we are happy to support and guide with customers. In my view this is a confident step in the right direction – to look at the full lifecycle, share facts and figures, and challenge each other to do good for people and planet.
Delivering the ‘wow’ factor
At Avansya we have always been proud to share our story with customers. It resonates more today than ever. But we have also always known that when it comes to food and beverage, taste really matters. For EVERSWEET®, it must be spot on – especially in the products where we see robust traction: Alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, energy bars, cereal, protein drinks, dairy … the list goes on, and the taste has to deliver the ‘wow’ factor. Early on we found that tasting is believing when it comes to EVERSWEET® – and I’m proud to say that it still is. It’s so gratifying to see customers experience that moment when they realize EVERSWEET® is the real deal. And with so many new and more complex applications in development, the possibilities seem limitless.
As ever, Avansya is committed to delivering sugar reduction solutions that make a positive contribution to society by supporting healthier lives for people and respecting our planet. With our steadfast belief in this purpose, and with a new leader guiding us forward, I believe the future looks incredibly sweet.