BENEO has announced a multi-million investment program for the coming years to expand capacity for its prebiotic chicory root fiber production sites in Pemuco, Chile and Oreye, Belgium. The first step will see more than $33 million USD (€30 million) invested. The entire program will ensure a significant capacity increase of more than 40 percent of BENEO’s global chicory root fiber production to meet rising customer demand and drive further growth within the market. The work on both production sites is beginning in 2022.
Current market trends see a high demand in prebiotic chicory root fiber due to the versatile benefits it offers in product development. Over the past four years, the number of new product launches containing chicory root fiber inulin has grown by 50 percent globally, with the market expected to reach 11.48 billion USD in 2028. BENEO’s latest investment will allow for continued fulfillment of market needs within the food and feed industry, while demonstrating the company’s commitment to growing its chicory root fiber business.
Christoph Boettger, member of the Executive Board at BENEO comments, “BENEO's chicory root fibers meet key consumer needs of today and we are convinced that they will continue to play a central role in healthy nutrition in the future. With increased capacity, BENEO continues to offer a secure supply to its customers and partners worldwide."
The chicory root fibers inulin and oligofructose are the only plant-based prebiotics. According to the International Scientific Association for Pro- and Prebiotics (ISAPP), they belong to the very few proven prebiotics. The use of chicory root fibers in product development allows manufacturers to respond to leading consumer trends such as digestive health and immunity, inner well-being, weight management, blood sugar management, and bone health.
With two production sites in both the Northern and Southern hemispheres BENEO provides flexibility to customers, ensuring secure supply of prebiotic chicory root fiber around the world.
“As announced previously, in summer 2022 a second refinery line in Pemuco will already increase the production capacity significantly. But we won’t stop there. The recent investment decision will ensure that BENEO’s production capacity is further growing. On top of this capacity increase, CO2 emissions are being reduced. This means that the production site in Pemuco will be carbon neutral in a few years. Additionally, the site in Oreye will have reduced the specific energy consumption per ton of product by more than 50 percent by 2030,” Boettger added.
Such an achievement is only possible because BENEO can ensure that sustainability resonates in everything it does, with the highest level of energy efficiency being applied to the factory developments. These efforts are contributing to the company’s goal of being carbon neutral in 2045.
As well as contributing to BENEO’s carbon neutral ambitions, the investment will create a number of job opportunities as a result of expanded production facilities. At the Pemuco plant, for example, an increase of approximately 15 percent in employees is foreseen over the next few years.