ACI Group, a leading distributor working with some of the largest global food, pharma, industrial and road brands, has entered into a new partnership with international market leader Soy Austria® to distribute its soy-based solutions in the UK and Ireland.
The exclusive deal kickstarts the new year for ACI Group and will enable the distributor to meet the growing demands of the food industry with sustainable, non-GMO and natural soy-based ingredients to drive product innovation.
“The popularity of soy-based solutions will continue to soar well beyond 2023,” commented Karsten Smet, CEO at ACI Group. “Currently, the global soy protein market is estimated to reach $15.3 million (£12.5m) by 2023 at a 4.4% CAGR1. Health and environmentally conscious consumers that are looking for alternative protein sources are driving this market to a whole new level, pushing food ingredients manufacturers to step up to the plate and innovate.
“At ACI Group, we want to help our customers meet the demand for plant-based, high value protein and are delighted to partner with Soy Austria to deliver high quality, sustainable ingredients to the UK and Irish markets.”
Founded in Austria in 1752, Soy Austria has been producing soy-based ingredients since 1989 (when its production facility was inaugurated). In 2003, the company closed production on grain processing to fully focus on soy for both feed and food production.
Operating from its headquarters in Prinzersdorf, Soy Austria turned its business efforts to solely manufacturing food ingredients in 2016, having perfected the processing of soy by using every part of the bean to create a multifunctional portfolio. Its minimal processing facility enables the soybean to be treated via a mechanical and thermal process, avoiding the use of any chemical solvents or auxiliaries to retain a clean-label and high nutritional profile.
René Skarnager, Managing Director at Soy Austria, commented: “Consumers are increasingly seeking transparency and minimally processed products. This rising demand for simple and recognisable ingredients means that more companies are removing or replacing artificial ingredients with more natural options in the purchasing decision ladder.
“With sustainability one of our core values, Soy Austria is excited to partner with a distributor that puts environmental, social and governance goals at the forefront of its strategy. We look forward to working closely with ACI Group to meet the needs of food ingredients manufacturers across the UK and Ireland.”
The company’s extensive product portfolio includes full-fat soy flours, enzyme-active and enzyme-inactive, roasted soy grit, high-quality debittered soy bran and premium full-fat soy flakes for the bakery and confectionery markets. While in its second production plant, its 100% natural textured soy protein range is produced from semi-defatted soy flour to meet the demands of the plant-based meat market.
The partnership with Soy Austria follows last year’s news, which saw ACI Group secure exclusive UK distribution agreements with two leading nutraceutical ingredients suppliers, Caltron Clays and GR Herbals.