Gerard Adams, who was named CEO of Kyowa Hakko USA only a few weeks ago, spoke with NutraIngredients-USA recently on how the ingredient supplier has maintained an independent voice and vision while still being part of one of the world’s largest food and beverages businesses.
Similar pairings in the past have sometimes ended badly for companies supplying dietary ingredients, as these firms have so little turnover comparatively speaking that they can get lost in the mix. Why bother, when an entire year’s revenue from such a division might hardly amount to a rounding error when compared to the global beer market ($640 billion in 2021 and growing)?
CEO: Kirin investments support Kyowa Hakko’s quality, innovation
Adams said he’s seen examples where ingredient companies do in fact wither on the vine under similar circumstances. But he said in Kyowa Hakko’s case, the benefits of the acquisition, which was completed in 2019, have far outweighed the risks.
“If you go to the head office of Kirin these days you’ll hear people talking about the health sciences group. They are investing a lot of people and capital into the health sciences group to help grow it,” Adams said.
“I want us to be the fastest growing, largest business within the Global Health Science division of the Kirin Group. The reason I can hold such a lofty vision with confidence is that our customers and the most sophisticated customers in the world ad they are servicing the most sophisticated consumers in the world,” he added.
“The United Stats is the place to be to support sophisticated innovation, and there is a lot of dynamism and diversity in our team,” Adams said.
Adams said the investment power of Kirin has helped Kyowa Hakko continue to remain relevant in a supplement market that even pre pandemic was continually disrupted by new fads, fads that some short-term marketers have pursued using the lowest cost ingredients available. Kirin’s model of steady innovation and commitment to quality has attracted a devoted customer base, Adams said. And, even thought the company has never been part of the game of chasing the latest bright thing, Adams said Kirin is well positioned with its emphasis on ingredients that address the brain, the gut, and immune support.