New York-headquartered Bunge is one of the largest lecithin suppliers in the world.
Its BungeMaxx range includes lecithin made from soya, rapeseed and sunflower seeds, and can be used in various categories such as confectionery, bakery, oil and fats.
Product and marketing coordinator at Univar Abigail Dillon told FoodNavigator it expected most demand to come from European countries. "Through market research, we’ve seen that Italy and the UK have a strong number of product launches containing these lecithin ingredients, however the Nordic region and Switzerland are close behind them and so we feel that these specific regions are optimal for growth in this sector."
The company did not confirm how long the distribution agreement would last, but Dillon said Univar had a track record of creating supply partnerships that were "strong, honest and long standing" and that its plan was to "maintain and grow [the] newly established agreement with Bunge".
Jochem Dettmers, EMEA sales director for Bunge's lecithin and specialty ingredients division, said the deal would enable the firm to harness Univar’s extensive reach and network within the European food industry, allowing it to penetrate the market much more effectively.
“We feel that our combined strengths will offer our clients a proposition that is attractive based on quality, traceability and high service,” he said.
Meanwhile the division’s EMEA director Alan J. Medina Jr said the company saw great potential in the partnership with Univar. “It is yet another step in the execution of our pan European growth strategy for lecithin,” he added.
Earlier this year Univar also inked a deal with US firm TerraVia, formerly known as Solazyme, to distribute a number of microalgae-based products in the EU, including a lipid-rich whole algae available in golden and cream that replaces eggs and fat in bakery, beverages and desserts, and a protein-rich whole algae powder.