Taura Natural Ingredients is celebrating the 20th anniversary of its European business with the news that its sales in Europe are on target to grow by at least 20% this year.
Founded in New Zealand in 1973, Taura established a sales and manufacturing operation in Olen, Belgium, in 1996. Since then, it has gone on to become Europe’s leading supplier of specialty functional fruit based ingredients in a range of categories, including nutritional snacking, bakery, chocolate, confectionery and breakfast cereals.
In the two decades following its debut in Europe, Taura has been at the vanguard of the healthy snacking revolution that has swept across Europe since the turn of the millennium. In that time, the Taura name has become synonymous with innovation with fruit across the food industry.
CEO Peter Dehasque, who is based in Olen, said: 'When Taura arrived in Belgium in 1996, our plan was to target a category that didn’t yet exist in Europe: healthy snacking. In Australia and New Zealand, it was already a well-established market sector. We believed it was only a matter of time before it emerged in Europe, so we moved there early to make sure we were first through the door when it did.'
Healthy snacking is now one of Europe’s most dynamic categories and Taura’s expertise and experience in the sector means it is the go-to supplier of real fruit ingredients for companies looking to grab a share of it. Taura’s products are made using URC (Ultra Rapid Concentration), a unique process of concentrating the taste, texture and natural goodness of fruit into pieces, flakes and pastes.
A year ago, global ingredients company Frutarom recognised Taura’s potential and purchased the company in a deal worth $70 million. Peter Dehasque said: 'It’s been a great year. Frutarom is like a safe harbour for us, and they allow us to sail in our own direction. We now have access to the Frutarom R&D and innovation network, as well as to its global sales teams, and this has taken our business to a new level. Frutarom also has a major US presence, and this is a real benefit for us as we look to strengthen our presence in the American market.'
Besides better-for-you snacking, Taura is also now leading the charge in the emerging market for ‘permissible indulgence’. In particular, fruit with chocolate is enjoying a surge in popularity as consumers look to treat themselves but with reduced feelings of guilt. Formulating real fruit with chocolate can be difficult, but Taura’s NPD experts have developed a range of URC ingredients that overcome all the most common technical hurdles to achieve delicious taste and texture combinations. URC fruit is high in purée, non-GMO and gluten-free, making it easy for manufacturers to achieve a clean label.
'Chocolate with real fruit inclusions is a major opportunity right now,' said Peter Dehasque. 'It ticks all the right boxes for consumers who want to indulge but keep one eye on their health. With permissible indulgence in the ascendancy, and healthy snacking continuing to grow, Taura is very excited about what the future holds in store.'