DKSH: The Healthy Lifestyle Services Provider
During the late 19th century three Swiss companies were formed in Asia when their founding families saw great opportunities to trade with newly opened markets in that part of the world. Diethelm Trading Company was founded in Singapore in 1887, Edward Keller, Inc. was founded in 1887 in the Philippines and SiberHegner was founded in Japan in 1865.
In 2002, DKSH, Zurich, Switzerland, was formed out of a merger between these companies. As a result of this merger, DKSH has grown into one of the largest marketing and services companies in Asia, and it continues to grow in Europe and the Americas.
The company provides a wide range of ingredients to the U.S. market, and due to its long business history in Asia, it has access to products, technologies and companies that allow it to meet customer needs, according to Don Cox, business development manager—Food & Ingredients. “One of the advantages of doing business with DKSH is that we know where to go in various international markets to get the right product, at the right time and at the right price,” he said.
In the U.S. market at the moment, the company is focusing on developing and marketing new and novel ingredients, such as a wild berry from the Patagonia region of Chile, in addition to exotic fruit powders like mangosteen, lychee and dragonfruit. “The wild berry of Patagonia is exceptionally high in anthocyanins, which produce high levels of antioxidants that support healthy cholesterol levels,” he said. “The wild berry has a deep purple coloration and is suitable for beverages and supplements.”
As for mangosteen, Mr. Cox said it is widely appreciated in Asia for its unique, delectable flavor and health properties. “Mangosteen contains health-promoting ingredients called mangostins, which promote healthy blood flow and support a healthy cardiovascular system,” he said. “Mangosteen can be formulated for dietary supplements and it is growing popular with beverage formulators.”
The reason DKSH became involved in the nutraceuticals industry is simply because it had the resources and desire to partner with select companies to bring new product ideas to fruition. According to Mr. Cox, the company has the laboratories to support prototype development and the ability to interest international suppliers. “We partner with companies in many geographies to produce recognized innovations in product development that lead to new market entries and we wanted to bring these services to the U.S. market,” he said. “We are interested in working with partners that want to push the envelope and introduce product innovations. We intend to be competitive with many standard ingredients for the industry, however DKSH is also a company that can lead through innovation.”
DKSH recently opened a new corporate headquarters in the U.S. in Baltimore, MD, providing the company room to grow its staff to service the U.S. market. In addition, the company has made two recent product innovations that have caught the attention of global supplement manufacturers. The first is its immune-enhancing yeast beta-glucan, which it says maintains a pleasant sensory experience without bitterness. Second, it has formulated prototype beverages to highlight its mangosteen and PWB wild berry products.
As for the state of the industry, Mr. Cox said the industry is growing with a focus on products that perform their cited health benefits. “Trends such as mandated analytical confirmation of active ingredients, organic certification and an emphasis on ‘cleaning house’ of unethical suppliers and products are improving the state of the industry,” he said. “However, the industry must self-police itself or the federal government will repeal or modify DSHEA with a net impact of increased regulatory oversight.”
For the future, Mr. Cox said DKSH intends to be recognized as The Healthy Lifestyle Services Provider throughout the food and wellness industry. “DKSH will use its global network to assure that the U.S. market has the latest market intelligence on new and novel ingredients, technologies and other developments to assist U.S. customers in keeping their competitive edge,” he commented. “Our ability to help suppliers meet stringent U.S. ingredient standards assures customers that quality needs will be met and DKSH has the knowledge, capability and desire to back new and novel ingredients with prototype products to highlight the proposed or suggested uses of the ingredients.”—T.W.
DKSH North America
300 East Lombard ST
Baltimore, MD, 21202