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Case Study: Build and buy - Chr. Hansen's strategy to solidify its microbiome business

Harini Venkataraman, Ph.D., Analyst
November 9, 2021

Chr. Hansen is a key player in the nutritional and health ingredients landscape. In particular, the company's human health and probiotics segment is well-known for developing and launching a number of key probiotic strains like Lactobacillus rhamnosus and Bifidobacterium, BB-12. Over the years, the company has focused on building its internal R&D expertise, and it has developed a robust technology platform for probiotics production. Since 2020, it has also made notable acquisitions for gut microbiome modulation, namely HSO Health Care and UAS Labs for probiotic products as well as Jennewein Biotechnologie on the prebiotics side for human milk oligosaccharides.

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USE CASE AND BUSINESS IMPACT

By acquiring HSO Health Care and UAS Labs, Chr. Hansen has further strengthened its probiotic value chain segments, including discovery and novel applications. HSO Health Care will add new application areas for probiotics focused on women's health with its Astarte brand consisting of four specific probiotic strains, while UAS Labs will help develop multispecies probiotic blends, generating expected 2020 revenue of about €15 million and €85 million, respectively. Additionally, through the Jennewein acquisition, Chr. Hansen is also entering the fast-growing HMO market, expanding its portfolio beyond just probiotics. These acquisitions will also tie into Chr. Hansen's existing R&D platforms to develop new health ingredients.

#LUXTAKE

Chr. Hansen's recent acquisition activities indicate its sustained interest in expanding its microbiome modulation product portfolio, creating synergistic opportunities for growth. It is also reflective of the current industry trend in which companies look to offer microbiome-modulating solutions targeting multiple health impacts and consumer bases. Another example is DSM, which also acquired BioCare and Glycom to strengthen its probiotic and prebiotic offerings. Going forward, upstream ingredient companies with existing gut health offerings should evaluate ways to diversify their portfolio while focusing on strengthening their core offerings.

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