Exploiting the invisible agents of change

By Kevin Robinson | Published: 3-Nov-2020

Having announced a new business strategy, Gnosis by Lesaffre, which uses micro-organisms to create solutions for human health and well-being, now offers a comprehensive and complementary portfolio of human health capabilities. Dr Kevin Robinson spoke to Philippe Caillat, Global Marketing Director, and Marc Philouze, General Manager, to find out more

Gnosis by Lesaffre, a business unit of Lesaffre Group, recently unveiled a new, fully integrated brand and business strategy. Gnosis by Lesaffre collaborates with dietary supplement, functional food/beverage and pharmaceutical brands to develop products with nutritional actives, probiotics and functional yeasts.

“Gnosis by Lesaffre is striving to create a world that moves better, digests better, ages better, feels better and, ultimately, lives better thanks to micro-organisms and biotransformation,” says Philippe Caillat, Global Marketing Director: “We’re harnesses the power of processes such as fermentation to cultivate game-changing products that benefit human health and well-being.”

“The term biotransformation may be unfamiliar to some in the industry,” adds General Manager, Marc Philouze, “but it refers to fermentation and other natural processing methods that involve transforming compounds within a living system. It describes exactly what we do. We use living micro-organisms to transform compounds into usable nutritional actives.”

The business unit draws on its focused research and applications capabilities, rigorous quality and regulatory compliance, as well as extensive clinical validation procedures to develop effective solutions for its key markets.

KSR: What was the driving force behind the new business strategy and what benefits are you hoping to deliver for the company and its customers?

PC: You might have noticed that the past 2 years have been full of exciting changes for Gnosis by Lesaffre. For starters, in November 2018, we officially combined Lesaffre Human Care and Gnosis Advanced Biotech (the Lesaffre Group completed the full acquisition) and, with that, came our new name and our logo.

We’re excited to finally share our fully integrated brand. At the heart of our new strategy is our continued focus on micro-organisms and the biotransformation processes they use to develop the products that our customers rely on us to supply: probiotics, nutritional yeasts, actives and more.

The pharmaceutical and nutraceutical products we offer truly embody what motivates us every day: putting life to work. With microbial biotransformation, we use what’s alive so that customers thrive, and thank our client, their companies and their products for helping us to turn this dream into a reality!

In the past, we’ve focused solely on building awareness of our renowned ingredients, such as Quatrefolic and Lynside nutritional yeasts. At the same time, we’ve been building our expertise and market leadership for our key market segments, so we’re very proud to bring those to the forefront of our brand strategy.

Exploiting the invisible agents of change

KSR: Although you already have a "whole body" approach to your solutions, are there any other applications in development or future targets in mind for the company?

PC: You’re quite right. Within its market segments, Gnosis by Lesaffre has developed a portfolio of solutions that improve health and well-being throughout the entire body.

We believe that to thrive, all parts of our body must be functioning their best, which is how we determined our key market segments. In fact, we’ve defined five key application areas in which we are going to focus our energy in the future:

  • wellness and immune health: immunity, daily nutrition, cardiovascular health, beauty, general well-being
  • digestion and gut health: microbiome, digestive comfort, liver health
  • mobility and joint health: bone health, joint health, muscle health, sports nutrition
  • reproduction and women’s health: vaginal care, urinary health, fertility, pregnancy, menopause
  • mood and cognitive health: mood health, cognition, stress and anxiety.

We may focus on additional benefits and target areas in the future, but it’s currently too early to talk about it. When the time is right, we’ll make sure the information is shared broadly!

KSR: Is the biotransformation now complete or are there other growth plans for the company?

PC: Biotransformation represents the essence of our new business unit, as well as the processes we utilise to cultivate nutritional actives. Biotransformation includes both fermentation and biocatalysis processes, but also encompasses the endless possibilities that microbial biotransformation processes provide.

Micro-organisms are invisible agents of change, facilitating our mobility, protecting us from disease and helping us adapt to our ever-changing environment. At Gnosis by Lesaffre, micro-organisms are a part of our workforce. We harness their power and biotransformation processes such as fermentation to cultivate a wide range of nutritional actives and functional ingredients that offer a wealth of well-being benefits.

KSR: As an advocate of sustainable practices, could you explain what Gnosis does at both a corporate and manufacturing level to minimise your environmental footprint?

PC: We’re in awe of our planet; and, for that reason, we’re committed to minimising our environmental footprint and actively pursuing sustainability in everything we do. We believe that biotransformation is the most promising opportunity for industries to reduce raw material consumption and waste when developing active ingredients.

KSR: Apart from operating during a pandemic, were there any particular hurdles that had to be overcome?

PC: The main hurdles that we have been facing as a result of the absolute need to adhere to social distancing rules is the replacement of all the physical trade shows we attend with virtual events.

Meeting directly with customers and partners is more challenging. In an environment in which face-to-face meetings are so important, we are having to reinvent how we go about business. That includes developing more tools to reach our customers and markets.

Our partnerships with customers are more than transactional now and our offering goes beyond just products, taking the form of differentiating branded solutions with ample customer support such as market knowledge, scientific guidance, clinical studies, white papers and more. We know that both ourselves and our customers experience the greatest success when we work together.

We have developed a new website — which went live in mid-September — that provides a significant amount of market-relevant information. We have also organised webinars (about the new brand identity as well as about the new solutions we are offering to support immune health, for instance).

We are getting in touch with our customers in a different way and we’re excited about the opportunities that digital landscape offers. At the end of the day, we no longer consider these to be hurdles, just a new way of doing business.

In conclusion

The Lesaffre Group entered the human health market in 2007 with the establishment of Lesaffre Human Care, which quickly became a world expert in fermentation dedicated to the human nutrition and health market. During the following decade, the Lesaffre Group integrated several leading human health companies into the matrix, including Gnosis Advanced Biotech and Omniabios, and invested in Envera and Intralytix.

“We’ve brought together leaders in human health and nutrition from around the world to form the now fully integrated Gnosis by Lesaffre,” says Marc Philouze.

“We’re committed to always exploring the potential of biotransformation, which we believe is limitless. It’s truly an untapped, transformative resource that will help us to develop natural, sustainable and efficacious solutions for our partners.”

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