Benecol, the range of cholesterol-lowering products created by the Finnish group Raisio, is to become available in a number of new markets following key distribution agreements.
In the United Arab Emirates, Raisio has signed an agreement with the Al Ain Dairy, the biggest and oldest dairy in the country. Under the terms of the agreement, Al Ain will market and distribute a range of Benecol products in the UAE, including dairy products, fruit juices and spreadable fats. They will all be sold under the Al Ain brand.
The agreement also enables Al Ain to export the Benecol products to Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Yemen, Bahrain and Oman.
Raisio said it welcomed the deal with Al Ain, as well as the opportunity to extend its distribution to a number of key markets throughout the Middle East. "Both parties expect a rewarding and long standing co-operation," it said in a statement.
Meanwhile, another new agreement has been signed between Raisio's partner McNeil Consumer Nutritionals Europe and the British group UniQ which should see the Benecol product range extend its presence in the core French market.
UniQ's subsidiary Marie St Hubert is the second-largest margarine and spread producer in France, and this month saw the launch of Ilô, a new spread containing Benecol, in two forms - a light dairy spread and a spread containing 53 per cent fat.
"This is a significant milestone in the expansion of the European Benecol franchise. France is one of the major European markets and UniQ is well placed to develop its potential to full," Raisio said.