Bega Cheese is planning to build lactoferrin plant at Koroit Facility in Western Victoria, Australia. The company plans to invest around US$ 24.1 million in development of the new lactoferrin extraction plant after it secured a long term supply agreement.
Lactoferrin Plant is a natural iron binding protein found in milk and is known for its anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, and immunological properties. According to Bega, lactoferrin is the functional ingredient used globally on a large scale in the infant formula and nutritional and consumer health food products. The firm started manufacturing lactoferrin in 2002 and the new facility will help to boost its production.
The new lactoferrin plant will help the company to produce more than 35 tons of lactoferrin every year to be used in products including infant formula and pharmaceuticals. Moreover, by investing in the Koroit facility, the Bega is likely to emerge as one of the largest lactoferrin manufactures worldwide and the company also considers the development of new plant as the major step propelling the growth of its bio-nutrients business.
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The Koroit facility was purchased by Bega in 2018 from Saputo for approximately AUD 250 million. During the purchase, Bega ensured that the new facility will help the company to strengthen its milk processing operation. Meanwhile, Bega also provides cheese products including dips and dressings. In 2018, Bega secured a deal to buy Vegemite spreads brand Mondelēz International’s New Zealand and Australia business.
In recent years, the demand for nutritional baby food and infant formula has increased owing to the increasing incidences of malnutrition among children. Consumers are moving towards adopting baby foods offering nutrition and other vitamins and minerals to babies. However, the companies producing baby food facing challenges to remain cost-effective due to the stringent regulations by government bodies various organizations on the quality of the products and formulations.
With new research studies emphasizing on the importance of providing proper nutrition in first few months of child birth is driving the demand for new baby food, this is resulting in companies focusing on production expansion and increase investment in the research and development activities to produce new baby food enriched with nutrients and vitamins. The baby food market is expected to reach nearly US$ 101.8 billion by 2026 end.
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The baby market is also likely to witness increasing sales of non-organic baby food products owing to the fact that organic baby food products are expensive and companies are also facing challenges in the procurement of the raw materials for producing organic baby food products. The high demand for non-organic baby food products is influencing the companies to launch new products with better formulations.
In the coming years, Asia Pacific is likely to emerge the most lucrative market for baby food products due to the rise in food production units, increasing investment in the research and development, and increasing demand for new products with different flavors in terms of both dried baby food and baby juice products.