Caramel color expansion: Roquette completes Sethness acquisition

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06 Sep 2018 --- Roquette has completed the acquisition of Sethness Products Company (Sethness), a leader in the production of caramel colors for food and beverage applications, further leveraging both companies' global capabilities in caramel colors. Operations and businesses of both companies will be run independently, according to the company announcement. Financial details of the deal have not yet been disclosed.

FoodIngredientsFirst reported the initial announcement earlier this year. You can read the full story here

Before the acquisition, Sethness and Roquette already had a strong partnership, operated two successful joint-ventures in France (Merville) and China (Lianyungang).

Founded in the USA in 1880, Sethness is a leader in the production of high-quality caramel color for the food & beverage sectors, thanks to four manufacturing facilities located in the US, France, India and China. This acquisition will reinforce Roquette’s position as a leading player in these markets and further drive value for its customers, according to the company. 

Sethness provides a large selection of caramel colors (in liquid and powdered forms) as well as a variety of clean label caramel color options (non-GMO, certified organic, gluten-free, allergen-free, etc.).

This move will contribute to Roquette’s strategic growth plan in the Food, Nutrition and Health markets to address its customers’ current and future needs everywhere in the world and will create new opportunities for Roquette and Sethness’ employees. 

James Bozikis, Head of Communications and Public Affairs – Americas, and Carole Petitjean, Head of Corporate Communications tells FoodIngredientsFirst: “Caramel color is the world’s most widely used food colorant. Sethness has grown over the past 135 years by focusing on delivering the highest quality caramel color products. A lot of opportunities lie ahead for caramel colors and Roquette will work in close collaboration with Sethness to explore new solutions.”

“Sethness is the worldwide leader in caramel color and the transaction will contribute to reinforcing Roquette’s position in the food & beverage market. Roquette, as a global leader in plant-based ingredients for the food, nutrition and health markets has strong ambitions to reinforce its position in these sectors worldwide,” says Bozikis. 

“Thanks to this acquisition, Roquette reinforces its global leadership in the food and beverage industry which will contribute to Roquette’s strategic growth plan in the food market. It will also foster closer collaboration with customers, particularly key world leaders in the food and beverage markets, to address current and future consumers’ needs everywhere in the world. Therefore, we accelerate our growth strategies and further drive value for our customers,” explains Petitjean. 

“The ambition is to reinforce the global leadership in caramel color particularly in Western markets and expand rapidly in emerging markets. The acquisition will build on the assets of both companies and it will leverage their strengths,” she adds. 

“Our belief at Roquette is that nature has the answer to provide people with the food, nutrition and health they need according to their lifestyle choices, their age, where they live and what they do. Caramel color is definitively a product coming from natural-based raw materials which leads to a more enjoyable meal. It contributes to make daily food an easy, enjoyable and delightful experience for all the family! This product definitively contributes to satisfy consumers’ expectations worldwide for their daily life and Roquette will continue to explore opportunities to do even more of that in the future,” Bozikis explains.

In a statement sent to FoodIngredientsFirst, at the time of the announcement, Roquette pointed out: “The transaction consists in transferring the stakes held by the Sethness family to the Roquette Group, which would become the exclusive shareholder of the company. As an 85-year old family-owned company, Roquette is driven by a similar long-term vision. It has been partnering with Sethness for almost 15 years and intends to ensure the continued economic development of the company in its markets, notably by reinforcing its leadership in the food and beverage industry.”

“Caramel color is used largely to color numerous foods and beverages including colas, soy sauce, seasonings, bread, pet food, cereals, etc. In fact, 1 in 20 food items you find in any supermarket is made with caramel coloring. People have used caramel to color their food for centuries in order to make it look as delicious as it tastes. It is also used in some cosmetic and non-food applications,” read the statement.

Jean-Marc Gilson, CEO of Roquette, also comments: “This acquisition will help accelerate Roquette’s growth plan in the food & beverage market and further drive value for our customers. We have been thrilled to successfully partner with Sethness in France and China for years. We are looking forward to working with their talented teams to continue addressing customers’ current and future needs everywhere in the world.”  

By Elizabeth Green

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