Oterra, a global leader in natural colour solutions and an industry innovator within dairy, since its establishment in 2021 has continued its strong sustainability work and, as a member of the United Nation’s Global Compact, the company continues to put nature at the forefront of what it does.

Fruits and vegetables can be used to add natural colours to yoghurts

Oterra – the journey

In April 2021 private equity firm EQT finalised the acquisition of Chr. Hansen’s natural colour division, and subsequently Oterra was born. A new company with a forward- thinking mentality led by an ambitious, relentless, and energetic new team, whose mission was to cement the brand as the world’s leader in innovation and customer service within the natural colours space. A key part of this journey involved transitioning to a new standalone IT infrastructure which would support the growth of the business going forward. A year and a half later, Oterra is in a great position where the present is fruitful, and the future is even brighter.

Multiple acquisitions over the last couple of years including Diana Foods colouring business and caramel experts Secna, have seen Oterra grow, and the company’s impressive backwards integration already strong supply chain security further strengthened. Adding to this, the company recently hired experienced sector professional Vera Karmebäck as its first global sustainability lead. Karmebäck was named a UN Global Compact SDG Pioneer in 2022 for having ‘demonstrated extraordinary progress and commitment towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals’.

Innovators within the dairy industry

Oterra, with its long history from Chr. Hansen, has been the frontrunner in both innovating and revealing solutions for coloured dairy for over a century. To name just one example; the Red Strawberry Fragaria – a unique red developed for yoghurt that offers increased stability against heat at a competitive price. Complementary to this and aided by the ever-relentless endeavours of Oterra’s GEC (Global Expertise Centre) teams, Oterra lead the way not only in colouring for dairy but also within coloured plant-based dairy alternatives. 

Dairy in Africa

Research, along with quantitative market analysis reveals the attitude in the African market is leaning more and more towards natural colours as the conversion from artificial to natural, particularly within dairy, grows. This is largely down to the perception that dairy-based drinks and yoghurt are a healthy on-the-go snack that contain active ingredients with nutritional attributes, and the inclusion of natural colours supports this notion. This shift in consumer attitude is further supported by a study carried out by Mordor Intelligence: ‘Africa Food Colorants Market – Growth, Trends, and Forecast 2022-2027’, which revealed strong expected growth in the region due to an increased demand for clean label foods.

Service and support capabilities

Over a century of experience in supplying the dairy industry globally means that Oterra has vast knowledge and specialisation to assist customers in their transition from artificial to natural colours. Proactive trials and tests carried out at the GEC facilities ensure products are stable, meeting specific customer requirements in a variety of niche dairy applications and are made available in a timely manner. Alongside the technical teams, Oterra’s regulatory teams ensure all compliance requirements and documentation is available across all products. All the required boxes are ticked so that products and solutions are ready to go to market. If you would like to know more about Oterra’s products and how your business can benefit from natural colour solutions, please get in touch with your local representatives, SK Chemtrade.

Article written by SA Food Review, April 2023.  

Oterra natural colours for dairy products
Oterra offers natural colours for dairy products