Benecol is Raisio’s top innovation and our most international brand. In 2017, Benecol renewed its consumer communications to promote well-being and to respond to the lifestyles of today's consumers. Benecol also invested in the closer cooperation with health-care professionals and continued its active work to enter new markets and to expand into new product groups.
Main events in 2017
- Market share of Benecol minidrinks further strengthened in the UK and Ireland.
- In Finland, sales in Benecol products increased by +10%.
- Benecol snack bar launched first in Poland.
- Sales in the Benecol product ingredient increased especially with licensing partners in Asia.
- Consumer needs were met by launching Benecol products with no added sugar.
Net sales for the Benecol business were slightly down from the comparison year totalling to EUR 122.5 (124.6) million. Net sales increased as a result of the Benecol product sales growth of over 10 per cent in Finland and increased deliveries of plant stanol ester, the Benecol product ingredient, especially with the licensing partners in Asia. Higher subcontracting costs of Benecol products and the world market price increase of sterols, used as raw material, could not fully be passed on to sales prices of end-products, particularly in the UK. In Poland, net sales were significantly down from the comparison year.
Benecol’s EBIT declined significantly, which was mainly due to the fact that the increased sterol price and product subcontracting prices could only partially be passed on to end-product prices, especially in the UK. Moreover, the conversion impact of the UK pound on the business profitability was negative.
Raisio has secured the availability and price level of sterols required for its production in the coming years.
Raisio is the market leader in the UK, where the availability and market position of Benecol minidrinks improved. Consumers welcomed new Benecol minidrinks with no added sugar as well as Benecol yoghurts with 30 per cent lower sugar content. Benecol carried out its Love the Taste campaign to encourage new consumers to try Benecol spreads.
The UK is the largest market for Benecol products.
Sales in Benecol products in Finland increased by some 10 per cent. Sales increased in both Benecol minidrinks and spreads. Benecol’s renewed marketing communications strengthened the brand as an everyday well-being product and clearly increased the consumer interest. The availability of the Benecol products also improved. The distribution of Benecol Soft Chew expanded to the retail channel.
In Poland, in addition to Benecol spreads and Soft Chews, Benecol snack bars were launched at the end of 2017. At the same time, a test sale of the Benecol yoghurt was introduced. In November, a new Benecol Olive spread was launched and its sales increased rapidly.
Benecol products strengthened their market leader position in Ireland. Benecol minidrink packages were renewed and new flavours were launched.
Raisio’s licensing partners in Asia, Europe and the USA renewed their product ranges and launched new products in their markets. Raisio renewed and strengthened cooperation with its licensing partners.
Benecol product range extended with new products.
In 2018, Raisio will launch new Benecol products into existing and new product categories. Raisio provides its licensing partners with extensive expertise and support in the development, marketing and sales of Benecol products.