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Martek signs 15-year WhiteWave deal

By Clarisse Douaud , 11-Oct-2006

Martek Biosciences has entered into a 15-year supply agreement, that includes co-branding priviledges, with WhiteWave Foods for the development of soy beverages containing Martek's flagship omega-3 ingredient, life'sDHA.

Martek, a manufacturer of DHA sourced from algae, will supply all of WhiteWave's DHA for beverages to be sold in the US. The initial launch of a product containing life'sDHA is forecast for 2007 and life'sDHA logo is to appear on packaging, as well as in related marketing and promotional materials.

The deal is an example of the "Intel Inside" approach to co-branding that omega-3 companies are currently vying for to increase visibility of their ingredients.

 

"I believe that Martek's agreement with WhiteWave is another step forward towards the widespread use of Martek's life'sDHA in a variety of food and beverage products," said Martek CEO Steve Dubin.

 

In the past, Colombia, Maryland-based Martek has claimed it supplies 80 percent of the DHA used in US infant formula. Thus, the agreement with WhiteWave represents a significant step towards increased recognition in the adult foods market.

 

DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) is a long chain omega-3 fatty acid that supports brain, eye and cardiovascular health. According to Martek, Americans have among the lowest dietary intake of DHA omega-3 in the world.

 

Based in Broomfield, Colorado, WhiteWave Foods manufactures healthy and organic food and beverage brands including soy products - Organic, Silk and TofuTown - and Hershey's Milks and MilkShakes.

 

Omega-3 ingredient makers are increasing looking to co-brand their products on mainstream products to differentiate themselves from competitors.

 

In September, Martek announced it was going down the branding road with its newly named omega-3 life'sDHA.

 

A model for co-branding success that ingredients companies often cite is that of computing giant Intel and the "Intel Inside" logo it puts on computers. The company transformed a hidden component of home computers, the transistor, into a household name and became the largest chip manufacturer in the world.

 

Fish oil supplier Ocean Nutrition has already taken this co-branding formula to food manufacturers with its playful fish logo Meg-3.

 

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