Eric Anderson, vice president of sales in the U.S. will head a new global sales unit, with Todd Norton taking over as head of U.S. sales. Anderson will continue to be the Superba brand manager in the U.S., the company said.
In addition, Aker has created an Australian sales unit to be headed by a new hire, Lalen Dogan, who Anderson said is experienced in the omega-3s market. The strong sales growth there, which has outpaced other markets, made the move necessary, he said.
Australian market developed differently
The question remains, why has the uptake of krill oil in Australia been so meteoric? Anderson said he believes the market there has developed differently than in the U.S. The North American omega-3s market went from lower grade fish oils toward concentrates, he said. With the introduction of krill, with its claim to better digestibility, the market differentiated again. Krill is a premium priced product, Anderson said, and its continued success at that price point, when there are much cheaper fish oil capsules available, points to different sets of consumers.
“In Australia we think the market just skipped high concentrates. There are three companies down there that are actively promoting krill on television, and it’s that next generation, better-than-fish oil positioning that’s doing great,” he said.
Aker and krill pioneer Neptune Technologies and Bioressources have been locked in a patent dispute in the Australian courts. Aker’s Australian patent was recently the subject of a review, which upheld portions of the patent but not others. The commercial import of that decision remains unclear, but so far the legal uncertainties have done little to slow growth in the market.
Anderson will assume his new duties on Oct. 1, the company said. Dogan, who is based in Melbourne, will begin his work with Aker on Oct. 15.