Health, Nutrition & Care
The year in review

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Reporting period

The Business Reviews include information from the combined entity for 12 months, which includes Firmenich as of 1 January 2023 (pro forma, see Concepts and ratios). It also includes information that is presented in accordance with IFRS, which includes Firmenich from the merger date onwards – whenever this is used this is specifically indicated.

We deliver value to our customers through our deep understanding of the most significant consumer trends and behaviors affecting the markets we serve. In 2023, we published a number of in-depth, data-driven studies designed to enable brands to support the world’s health at every stage of life.

Immunity Report 3.0

Research conducted in 2023 indicated that consumers take dietary supplements primarily for immune system support, and that this was the top health area they planned to address. However, the immune health market is evolving rapidly, with more emphasis on overall health, including physical and mental well-being. Drawing on extensive consumer research, our Immunity Report 3.0 examines emerging consumer wellness priorities, from increased awareness of ingredient labelling to healthy aging.

Acquisition of Adare Biome

In 2023, we further strengthened our ‘Health from the gut’ offering to meet growing consumer demand for better gut health with nutritional solutions that have scientifically backed health benefits combined with easy application and novel product formats. These clinically proven, multi-ingredient products include our next-generation Humiome® pre-, pro- and postbiotics, GlyCare™ HMOs, Tolerase® digestive enzymes, and Quali® vitamins.

In July, we completed the acquisition of Adare Biome, a pioneer and global leader in the development and manufacture of postbiotics. Our strong infrastructure, commercialization and science capabilities will enable us to substantially scale Adare Biome’s industry-leading scientific research. Together with Adare Biome’s team of experts, we are poised to accelerate the creation of next-generation biotics faster and more efficiently than was previously possible to a wider range of people around the world. Further development of postbiotic business-to-business ingredients and solutions presents opportunities in dietary supplements, early life nutrition, and medical nutrition.

Partnership with Indena

To address evolving consumer demand, for botanicals, in October we announced our strategic partnership with Indena, a private Italian company with a century of experience in the identification, development and production of high-quality, innovative, and efficacious active botanicals for the pharmaceutical and nutrition industries. The partnership is dedicated to specific strategic health areas and selected ingredients in the field of dietary supplements, including those that support immunity, vision, brain health, women’s health, healthy aging, and gut health. Through our shared scientific expertise and vision, together we aim to develop the next generation of solutions in premix and market-ready solutions with our core ingredients and Indena botanical extracts.

Approval for HMOs as nutrition fortifiers

As a leader in HMO research, development and production, we are continuously pioneering advances and expanding our offering across the early life nutrition and dietary supplement markets. In 2023, following a rigorous technical, safety, and efficacy evaluation, two of our HMOs were approved as nutrition fortifiers for specific infant and young child products in China.

HMOs are an important component of human breast milk and have been shown to play a role in infant health by supporting immune function, gut health and, potentially, cognitive development. A growing body of scientific evidence outlining their potential benefits has shown HMOs as a powerful emerging ingredient that brings the composition of infant formula closer to that of breast milk. This approval in China marks a significant milestone, signaling the successful navigation of a multi-year, multi-phase regulatory process that allows the unique benefits of HMOs to be accessible to infants and young children.

life’s®OMEGA algal alternative to fish oil

Omega fatty acids support cardiovascular health as well as cognitive and immune function. However, less than 20% of people worldwide consume the recommended 250 mg per day. This is partly due to concerns regarding their impact on marine ecosystems as well as the unpleasant taste associated with omega-3s.

Ten years ago we created life’s®OMEGA, the only commercially available, algal-based omega-3 that delivers the essential fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) from a single quality source. Our extensive Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) study proves that our life’s® portfolio has a lower environmental impact than fish-based alternatives.

This year, we achieved a significant milestone with the launch of life’s®OMEGA O3020. This is the first and only single-source algal omega-3 with the same EPA-to-DHA ratio naturally found in standard fish oil, but with twice the potency, and more desirable organoleptic qualities. Using proprietary precision fermentation of a natural non-GMO algae grown in a controlled environment ensures purity, while multiple production locations ensure supply reliability.

Healthy growth in Biomedical

Our biomedical materials business delivered very strong results, supported in part by the recovery of elective orthopedic procedures post-COVID. Biomedical drives innovation by addressing healthcare needs through sustainable science. In March, we announced the launch of our bio-based Ultra-High Molecular Weight Polyethylene fiber, certified by the International Sustainability and Carbon Certification system, providing full compliance and traceability.

Our industry-leading, medical-grade polyethylene biomaterials platform has supported multiple partners in the development of suture-based technologies for the global orthopedics market and driven growth in the global vascular market.

Within our natural biomaterials portfolio, we successfully introduced our technologies into China and India, expanding our international presence and introducing our healing technologies into strategic therapeutic areas. We enabled one of our key partners to grow in the neurovascular market, generating significant revenue growth for our medical coatings portfolio.

i-Health delivers consumer solutions and growth

i-Health, our direct-to-consumer business, continued to thrive, through its focus on products serving the gut health and women’s health segments, thanks to increased interest in immunity and overall health and wellness. Strong performance across our Culturelle® brand, as well as our women’s health brands, AZO® and Estroven®, in North America were driven by outstanding growth in Amazon e-commerce and Costco Club channels. The key launch in women’s health was Estroven® Complete + Ashwagandha, supporting menopause symptom management.

Our Culturelle® probiotic range continued to attract strong consumer interest. Key US launches this year included Culturelle® Women’s Health 4-in-1 with Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG (LGG) probiotics, one of the world’s most effective probiotic strains, designed to promote women’s vaginal, urinary, digestive, and immune health. Other significant achievements in i-Health supporting early life nutrition include the launch of Culturelle® Baby Drops with LGG in China and Brazil.

Personalizing nutrition with Hologram Sciences

Hologram Sciences, our AI-focused health incubator, builds consumer-facing brands, supports strategic partners, and leverages modern technology to advance personalization and improve health outcomes. Hologram Sciences provides a unique partnership model for outsourced innovation, including access to a pipeline of modern brands for licensing: d.velop™ (vitamin D immunity) and Phenology™ (personalized menopause solution); and resources to support existing brands or create entirely new white-space opportunities.

In 2023, Hologram Sciences entered into a collaboration with Mayo Clinic to develop an innovative Precision Nutrition Platform aimed at addressing the critical challenge of malnutrition in hospital settings. This new platform will combine Hologram’s advanced machine learning and adaptive technologies with Mayo Clinic’s extensive clinical insights. Its goal is to create highly-informed proactive strategies using predictive analytics and personalized nutrition in order to enhance patient care & recovery, outcomes, and readmission rates.

Bringing progress to life across our segments

Within Dietary Supplements, we expanded our ‘Health from the Gut’ platform with the launch of Humiome® Post LB – a unique postbiotic combination of two proprietary lactobacillus strains and their metabolites offering health benefits across several therapeutic areas. This combination can be applied in on-trend formats such as gummies and beverages that we obtained through the acquisition of Adare Biome. Our new partnership with Indena, expands our portfolio with high-quality science-backed botanicals.

In our Medical Nutrition business, we achieved regulatory approval in Brazil of ampli-D®, a potent form of vitamin D3, clinically proven to raise vitamin D3 levels three times faster and more effectively than traditional alternatives, especially in elderly people. We also successfully launched the first ready-to-pack premix solution including a science-backed blend of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and flavors targeting the healing of chronic wounds in diabetic patients.

As a supplier of APIs, we serve our customers with high-quality products, pharma documentation, regulatory support, and supply reliability. This year, we became the only Western supplier providing a unique sustainability offering through our Imp’Act cards, measuring product sustainability with our LCA expertise.

Nutrition Improvement is the segment where we serve the under-nourished, especially in Africa and Asia. In this segment, as an on-continent multiple micronutrient supplement (MMS) manufacturer, we are supporting a locally-produced solution backed by 30 months of successful stability data.

Case study: Enabling sustainable aquaculture with Sustell™

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Progress, powered by our people

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Mint with Purpose: A new farming model for sustainable value

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