- Kerry plans to reach more than 2 billion people around the globe each day with its ingredients by 2030, CEO Edmond Scanlon announced in a virtual press conference Wednesday. This would double the Ireland-based ingredients titan's reach today.
- The company also set new sustainability targets, building upon its previous "Towards 2020" strategy announced five years ago. Under the new strategy, known as "Beyond the Horizon," Kerry pledges to reduce emissons by a third during the next 10 years and reach net zero before 2050; ensure all plastic packaging is reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025; and cut food waste in half by 2030, diverting the rest from landfills.
- Scanlon said Kerry plans to meet its growth target by finding new clients, developing new products through innovation and M&A. The company has been busy in all three realms, recently launching multiple extracts designed for beverages and acquiring smaller companies making plant protein ingredients and natural antimicrobials earlier this year.
Kerry has come a long way from its beginnings as an Irish dairy company. It's now a behemoth that touches consumers on all corners of the globe, and Scanlon feels by continuing its trajectory, the company can reach even more people.
Through M&A, he said, Kerry will acquire smaller companies that can help improve the health and wellness aspects of food products. Internal innovation and constant improvements in technology also will help Kerry enhance its capabilities in areas such as clean label, proactive health ingredients and immunity boosters. A good place to start, he said, is Kerry's probiotics line — including Wellmune and BC30, both part of Kerry's 2017 acquisition of probiotics powerhouse Ganeden. Wellmune is an immunity booster, while BC30 is a probiotic that can be added to products ranging from baked goods to tea to snacks.
"All these are ways that when we engage with customers, they're saying to themselves, 'Yeah, this gives us an opportunity to take our product, regardless of where it is in the nutrition spectrum, and make it better,' " Scanlon said. "... When we're at our best at Kerry, that's what we do."
Demographics are also in Kerry's favor for expansion, he said. The company is focusing on creating products that support healthy aging, and the proportion of people who are 65 and older is projected to increase in the next decade. According to data from the United Nations, about 9.3% of the world's population is 65 and older right now. That is projected to increase, with 10.4% in that demographic in 2025, and 11.7% by 2030. Scanlon said more of that growth will be in developing markets — including India, China, Southeast Asia, Latin America and Africa — where there are more opportunities for Kerry's ingredients to enhance food and drink.
Kerry has been working through the coronavirus pandemic that has impacted societies and economies worldwide. During its financial results for the first half of 2020, total revenues were down 4.3%, with a volume decrease of 6%. Much of this had to do with closures and slowdowns of foodservice businesses.
Scanlon said Wednesday about 40% of its Taste and Nutrition business supplies foodservice, which has been challenged but has started to rebound. If 30% of Kerry's business has had a tough time so far this year, the other 70% has proven resilient and posted strong growth, he said.
With such a diverse portfolio, the company already plays in spaces that are primed for expansion — including plant proteins, immune boosters, flavorings and natural food preservation. And expanding in these areas also can help Kerry meet its sustainability goals. After all, as Scanlon pointed out, if food has a longer shelf life, less will be wasted.