Leveraging Strengths
Acquisition of Continental Custom Ingredients strengthens Tate & Lyle’s value to the dairy industry.
Apart, they were trading partners serving a common industry. Together, they’re a formidable force better equipped to tackle common goals.
Global ingredients manufacturer Tate & Lyle’s acquisition of Continental Custom Ingredients (CCI), Sycamore, Ill., earlier this year is expected to bring the company new expertise in the areas of dairy stabilizers, hydrocolloids systems, emulsifiers, vitamins and flavors. CCI is now trading as Tate & Lyle Custom Ingredients.
“We have been a customer of Tate & Lyle for many years and are pleased to build upon our relationship. Being part of a global ingredients business will promote faster growth, open up international markets, and ensure we realize the full potential of our strong team and our new facility in Sycamore, Illinois,” says Ray Minzner, president of Tate & Lyle Custom Ingredients (formerly chief executive officer of CCI).
Tom Doxsie, senior vice president of food ingredients for Tate & Lyle, Food & Industrial Ingredients, Americas, says the union represents a further step toward broadening Tate & Lyle’s product mix, technology, service offering and customer base, “and fits with our strategy of growth through value-added ingredients and customer focus. The addition of CCI to Tate & Lyle vertically integrates us closer to our shared customer base and to the dairy industry. The combination of our research and development expertise and broad ingredient portfolio, coupled with CCI’s intimate dairy knowledge, speed and agility to market, provides a solid foundation for growth.”
The joining of the two companies allows them to leverage key synergies to their mutual advantage. CCI — founded in 1975 as Continental Colloids — specialized in hydrocolloids and expanded into emulsifiers and custom ingredient systems, while Tate & Lyle is a leading manufacturer of value-added ingredients that’s perhaps best known as the sole maker of the popular ingredient Splenda® sucralose.
“The two companies enjoy a great strategic and geographic fit; vertically integrating means that combined we have better reach to our customers and an improved product mix,” Doxie says. “CCI enjoys a great reputation as an innovator and expert in dairy foods and dairy beverage applications. They are a customer-centric operation with a technically advanced sales team. Their ability to turn-around new product innovations at high speed is a great benefit that is already enabling Tate & Lyle to bring food and beverage solutions to market even faster. We are also benefiting from merging our distribution networks. Additionally, CCI has an established sourcing network which is enabling us to develop ingredient systems with a broad range of functional food ingredients.”
What does this mean for the dairy industry? In short, customers will see a greater level of new product offerings and services, and Tate & Lyle Custom Ingredients will be able to deliver a wider range of ingredient solutions to the dairy industry in a fast, flexible manner.
“Historically we shared many of the same customers,” Doxie explains. “But while Tate & Lyle’s customer base is broad, spanning many different industries, CCI’s prior customer base was more focused in dairy foods and dairy beverages and their penetration is those industries was far greater than ours.  
“The acquisition means that Tate & Lyle’s existing customers gain new expertise in the areas of dairy stabilizers, hydrocolloids systems, emulsifiers, vitamins and flavors.  CCI’s customers gain access to a far great range of ingredients including sweeteners (nutritive and non-nutritive including Splenda), starches and accidulants.”
By bringing together Tate & Lyle’s broad product portfolio, global brand, diverse customer base and research expertise with CCI’s strong research and technical service and operational speed and agility, the aim is to bring increased choice and advance growth in delivering value-added solutions to not only the dairy market but to customers in all categories from beverage to baking.?
Tate & Lyle Custom Ingredients profiled two of its Rebalance™ ingredient solutions for dairy drinks at the recent IFT show. Dairy Drink Rebalance chocolate milk contains fewer calories than a traditional full-fat, full-sugar chocolate milk; one solution, a natural sweetening system containing sucrose and Krystar® Crystalline Fructose, delivers 25 percent less added sugar and 12 percent less total sugar compared to a traditional product. The second solution, containing Splenda, delivers 50 percent less added sugar and 25 percent less total sugar. 
Tate & Lyle Custom Ingredients says Rebalance solution systems will allow dairy beverage manufactures to create great-tasting, lighter products for all consumer age groups. These solution systems also make it simple for processors to meet the changing requirements for the school lunch program.
Based in Sycamore, Ill., Tate & Lyle Custom Ingredients operates state-of-the-art analytical and pilot labs in a facility opened in January 2005 after CCI moved from its longtime home in West Chicago (the company also has facilities in Canada and Mexico).
“The Sycamore research group has quickly been integrated into the global Tate & Lyle R&D community via collaboration on global projects such as the Enrich™ service (developed by Tate & Lyle) and application studies on Tate & Lyle proprietary ingredients,” explains Bill Shazer, Tate & Lyle Custom Ingredients director of dairy application laboratories. “Scientists routinely collaborate daily either via telephone, e-mail or on-site laboratory and pilot-plant activities, as well as at meetings and training both in Sycamore and Decatur [Illinois, Tate & Lyle’s U.S. headquarters and home of its global R&D center].”
Global conferences, ongoing communications and cross-training of technical service and applications personnel is providing the company’s global R&D team with a broader understanding of ingredient strategies and is allowing Tate & Lyle to serve customers’ technical needs more effectively and with increasingly rapid turnaround. “We envision the Sycamore labs as the center for Tate & Lyle dairy applications research for North America and are dedicated to serving the dairy industry as part of Tate & Lyle,” Shazer says.
The facilities are fully equipped with a modern dairy pilot plant, which includes direct and indirect UHT capabilities as well as a versatile HTST processing system. Cultured products including yogurt, sour cream and cottage cheese are manufactured, and a production model continuous ice cream freezer and frozen novelty equipment are routinely used to test ingredients and ingredient blends. “The laboratory is fully staffed with R&D scientists,” Shazer says, “and we also leverage resources in Decatur and work with the wider ingredients team there to develop their basic understanding of ingredient functionalities in dairy products in order for the Decatur team to support dairy product applications.”
For more photos of Tate & Lyle Custom Ingredients, visit www.dairyfield.com
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