Growing global demand for Smart Nutrition solutions
HOCHDORF is transforming itself into the Swiss authoritative brand for technologically sophisticated, functional special foods, known as Smart Nutrition. The prerequisites are set up for this strategic transformation: the changing dietary habits of consumers are placing new demands on foods and producers. The processing industry faces the challenge of checking its value chains and integrating new raw materials and semi-finished products into its processes. HOCHDORF stands out due to its high processing competence of high-quality raw materials. The company has state-of-the-art production technology and employees with market-oriented nutrition expertise. HOCHDORF is therefore keen to position itself on the global market in the future as a developer, manufacturer and marketer of specialist foods for people of all ages with specific nutritional requirements and to reduce its dependence on milk costs.
We focus on secure, reliable and sustainable nutrition solutions.
There was a significant push on this strategy and on promoting innovation in the 2021 business year. Numerous newly developed end products and semi-finished products in the area of Smart Nutrition, such as Bimbosan goat milk, the infant formula Riso PH, lactose-free milk powder, a vegan milk powder replacement, or the whey protein concentrate developed for infant formula attest to HOCHDORF's competence in refining milk and plant-based raw materials. With the new products developed in the last three years, HOCHDORFachieved net sales revenue of CHF 41.1 million in 2021 (previous year: CHF 20.6 million).
Smart Nutrition for all phases of life
The HOCHDORF strategy house summarises the company's trajectory and future positioning.
Innovation and nutrition technology are our passion.
"Food for Life" is HOCHDORF's raison d'etre. As a company, we want to contribute towards nutrition that promotes good health and sustainability. Nature, technology and people are at the heart of our work, in keeping with our sustainable goals. We are convinced that nature has to be protected for us to produce quality products; it provides us with high-quality, healthy raw materials. We use appropriate technology to process raw materials in a gentle way. Not least, people are the key to HOCHDORF, with their deep nutritional, physiological knowledge, their technical know-how and sound understanding of customer and consumer needs. They enable us to provide our industrial customers and consumers with the best possible solutions. Starting with our competence in Baby Care, we want to extend our offer of "Human Care" to all phases in life and provide Smart Nutrition products for crucial processing steps in the industry. We aim to be the leading Swiss technology expert for functional foods.
Growth with Smart Nutrition
HOCHDORF is well positioned as a niche provider in the international food sector in the context of global megatrends in the nutrition market and increasing demands on raw material and product quality.
The German Zukunftsinstitut (Future Institute) lists a total of twelve mega trends that impact on all areas of society (source: https://www.zukunftsinstitut.de/dossier/megatrends/). The mega trends particularly relevant to HOCHDORF include "gender shift", "health", "globalisation", "neo-ecology" and "silver society".
- Gender shift: The impact of young women in the workplace has continually grown over the past 50 years. Women are also better trained than ever before. Both factors make a return to work more desirable after the birth of a child. This trend also promotes the demand for infant formula, particularly in the developing markets.
- Health: The right nutrition promotes good health. Nutrition is a matter of trust. The quality of food is increasingly multi-dimensional and holistic. This promotes vegan and organic trends as well as a more conscious approach to animal ingredients.
- Globalisation: Different development standards in the markets, the critical availability of agricultural raw materials or inadequate technology competence in different countries have always promoted the trade in food products. HOCHDORF has had an international outlook dating as far back as 1895, bringing high-quality products made from Swiss raw materials to the market.
- Neo-ecology: Sustainable business and food waste are aspects of a growing global awareness around the quality of the food chain. HOCHDORF uses the high-quality "by-product" whey in human nutrition (such as infant formula). Whey is mostly fed to animals in Switzerland, which is seen as food waste. HOCHDORF also refines rapidly perishable raw milk into long-life products.
- Silver society: With increased life expectancy, the need for healthy, age-appropriate nutrition is growing. The consultancy company PwC estimates the proportion of over 60s at over 20% by 2050. In 2000 this sector was just 10% (source: PwC, Five Megatrends And Their Implications for Global Defense & Security, 2016, p. 8). HOCHDORF is focusing on this growing area; it is extracting natural proteins from milk and whey for infant formula and increasingly for nutrition for senior citizens, for example.
Growing global demand for Smart Nutrition solutions
The food market continues to show strong global growth for special foods aimed at the specific needs of defined target groups at 6–7% per year (source: https://www.alliedmarketresearch.com/functional-foodmarket). This development is based in part on a more conscious approach to nature and food, the worldwide phenomenon of malnutrition, an ageing population and increased standards in the baby care segment.
HOCHDORF as an authoritative brand for Private Labels
"HOCHDORF – Swiss Nutrition Solutions" represents our advanced technology and production know-how. As the Swiss market leader with the strong "Bimbosan" brand, HOCHDORF understands the nutritional needs of small children and young families at first hand. This direct market awareness makes HOCHDORF a competent partner for Private Label customers around the world in developing and producing market-specific baby care and "functional foods" products.
According to a market study conducted at the end of 2021, the infant formula market is set to achieve an average annual growth rate of 8% by 2028. The annual growth for organic infant formula is estimated as high as 10%. The most important growth area for the next few years will continue to be meeting the exacting demands of our Private Label/B2B customers with high-quality specialist products in the Baby Care division. HOCHDORF will also use its strong Swiss position for targeted expansion of its own brand business internationally, to exploit synergies and strengthen our B2C expertise. There are attractive growth markets for infant formula in Asia and Latin America. Additionally, HOCHDORF is using its position as a niche provider to make the most of opportunities to break into developed markets. Alongside store-based sales, online sales of baby food are also being pushed in these regions.
In 2021 we launched various special infant formula products in Switzerland under the Bimbosan brand; these include a goat milk-based infant formula as well as the infant formula PH Riso, based on hydrolysed rice protein. These products are also offered for the international market and for Private Label customers. We also launched production of a base powder line for industrial customers. These initiatives primarily serve to increase production volume at existing plants.
Sources: Vpa Research, Global Infant Nutrition Market - Outlook and Opportunities to 2028, 8th edition, November 2021 ; TGM Markets, Organic Baby Food Market Outlook to 2028, December 2021
Close collaboration with and support of premium chocolate customers in the development and provision of specific milk powder products remains a key role for this business division. So HOCHDORF is also focusing more on developing, producing and marketing high-quality semi-finished products based on milk, whey and plants, including for its own needs in Baby Care in particular. The increasingly scarce volume of milk in Switzerland and the resulting cost effects remain a major challenge for the profitability of by-products, such as cream and skimmed milk powder, in terms of market performance. The medium-term strategic focus is to gradually reduce cost dependence on milk as a raw material by prioritising added value. Geographically, the Food Solutions division is focusing on Switzerland.
Thanks to its whey expertise, HOCHDORF has been producing its own high-quality whey-based semi-finished products for infant formula since the middle of 2021. This processing competence allows HOCHDORF to produce and market additional interesting whey-based semi-finished products.
HOCHDORF also uses on-trend semi-finished products to exploit market opportunities to export to places where there is interesting potential despite increasingly insufficient raw material price compensation. This includes, for instance, the vegan powder for the chocolate industry or protein powder.
Sustainability strategy with implementation goals
The sustainability strategy that was further developed in 2021 sets goals and defines measures across the value chain. It focuses on five topics: climate and animal-friendly milk, CO2/greenhouse gases and sustainable raw materials, waste, water, and employees and society. As a general rule, the defined goals should be achieved by 2030 at the latest. The goals for the focus topic Employees and Society should already be implemented by 2025.