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ACI Group secures exclusive UK and Ireland distribution deal with Soy Austria

18/01/2023 – Ingredients / Soy / ACI Group / Austria / Protein / Plant-based / Distributor

ACI Group secures exclusive UK and Ireland distribution deal with Soy Austria

ACI Group – a leading distributor working with some of the largest global food, as well as 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 kick-starts 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.


Global soy protein market continues to soar


“The popularity of soy-based solutions will continue to soar well beyond 2023,” commented Karsten Smet, CEO at ACI Group, who noted that the global soy protein market is estimated to reach US$15.3 million (£12.5m) by 2023, expanding at a CAGR of 4.4 per cent, according to a Research and Markets forecast. 


“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,” Mr Smet continued. 


“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,” he added.


A pioneer in soy-based ingredients


With its origins stretching all the way back to 1752, Soy Austria has been producing soy-based ingredients since 1989 when its production facility in Austria 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.


Promoting clean label products and ESG goals


“Consumers are increasingly seeking transparency and minimally processed products,” observed René Skarnager, Managing Director at Soy Austria. “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,” she continued. “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. Meanwhile, in its second production plant, the company’s 100-per-cent 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.

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