AlaskOmega plays all-American card to gain growing foothold in omega-3 market

By Elaine Watson

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Omega-3 fatty acid

AlaskOmega plays all-American card to gain growing foothold in omega-3 market
If current trends continue, omega-3s could soon account for more than 50% of sales at Ohio-based ingredient supplier Organic Technologies, bosses have predicted.

The family-owned firm, which is better-known for its plant sterols/sterol esters and mixed tocopherols, is a recent entrant to the omega-3 market but has made rapid headway thanks to its all-American supply chain and sustainability credentials, said vice president Dan Wiley.

The ‘caught in Alaska, refined in Ohio’ message has been key to securing a small – but rapidly growing - foothold in the omega-3 fish oil market said Wiley, who was speaking to NutraIngredients-USA after receiving MSC (Marine Stewardship Council) certification for his firm’s AlaskOmega omega-3 range.

While his initial focus has been on concentrated ethyl esters (50-85% concentrated omega-3s) for the dietary supplements market, the firm has also developed omega-3s in triglyceride form suitable for food and drink applications, he said.

“We have only been in the omega-3 market for two or three years and we are just beginning in food as we wanted to get our ducks in a row ​[on the supplement side] before going into triglycerides, but there is a lot of excitement about its growth potential.”

Competition

However, companies had to try to find ways to stand out above the crowd as the market became commoditized, he said.

“There are commodity pressures in this market even though it is still growing strongly. There are Chinese suppliers that are offering omega-3s for 30% less than we are, but we’re not competing with them. If someone says ‘but we can get it for 30% less from this company’, I say, OK buy it from them.

“But if they want to come and visit my plant and our fully audited supply chain, they can. We’re reliable, we are sustainable and we are in the same time zone.

“A large percentage of the fish oil currently going into the supplements market is Peruvian, but our oils are 100% US-sourced from Alaskan fish that are caught for human consumption.

“We are also one of the very few companies in this market to be able to offer MSC certification.”

The MSC is an independent non-profit organization that operates a leading certification program for environmentally sustainable and well-managed wild-capture fisheries. Currently, there are 129 fisheries around the world that have been independently verified to meet MSC standards for environmental sustainability.

The Alaska Pollock fishery is the largest fishery in North America. Initially certified in 2005, it was re-certified in 2010.

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