Human Nutrition & Health
About Human Nutrition & Health
Human Nutrition & Health provides solutions for the early life nutrition, dietary supplement, pharmaceutical, medical nutrition, nutrition improvement (for the most vulnerable) and food & beverage markets. We serve these industries with:
- a portfolio of high-quality products covering vitamins, nutritional lipids, minerals, carotenoids, nutraceuticals, digestive enzymes, probiotics and prebiotics (incl. human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs), as well as active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs)
- a suite of customized solutions (premix, Market-Ready Solutions and personalized nutrition)
- a range of expert services (e.g., regulatory affairs and formulation expertise, and customized solutions)
Human Nutrition & Health performance
Human Nutrition delivered a good performance with 5% organic growth, of which 4% was volume-driven, building on last year’s strong volume growth of 7%.
Hologram Sciences™, a new wholly-owned DSM company that reaches out directly to consumers, launched its first personalized nutrition solution to North American customers.
Demand for Dietary Supplements remained favorable and showed good growth, as consumer awareness of the relevance of immunity-optimizing products remained high. Pharma and Medical Nutrition recorded a very strong performance once again.
ampli-D®, a new vitamin D dietary supplement, was commercialized during the year. This product contains a rapid-acting and potent form of vitamin D, providing fast-working immunity support.
Early life nutrition (ELN) sales were soft as this business continued to be impacted by lower global birth rates exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Our differentiated and value-added portfolio of ELN products provided good market access in China at local Chinese ELN producers.
Glycom, the world’s largest supplier of human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs), made good progress in its full first year as part of DSM, with sales supported by the successful launch of our new Culturelle® probiotic supplements with HMOs. Organic sales in ELN applications were flat, but the business now sees activities at customers picking up as business conditions have started to improve in the ELN market.
The Food & Beverage segment saw strong growth driven by continued elevated demand from at-home consumption and the gradual reopening of economies.
Continued expansion along the value chain
A growing proportion of our revenue comes from expert services, such as regulatory affairs and formulation expertise, and customized solutions. Our customized solutions — besides premixes — include Market-Ready Solutions that address diverse health or lifestyle benefits. Our activities in the personalized nutrition sector, which is a key pillar in our nutrition strategy, were strengthened by the launch of Hologram Sciences, Inc.
Personalized nutrition: Launch of Hologram Sciences
Personalized nutrition is a key pillar in our Nutrition strategy. In 2021, we launched Hologram Sciences, Inc., a consumer-facing company that will create brands targeting various health conditions. By combining health diagnostics, digital coaching and personalized nutrition, Hologram Sciences brands will provide consumers with more holistic solutions to manage their health.
Hologram Sciences will provide state-of-the-art consumer-facing personalized nutrition solutions that have been clinically proven to address a variety of consumer health needs. An example is the 2021 launch of d.velop™, our immune support package which provides consumers with our advanced vitamin D formula ampli-D®, a diagnostic kit, and digital support. As solutions are validated in-market, they will become available to our customers. Hologram Sciences will also work to incubate products with our customers and partners, based on the latest consumer insights.
Continued growth in dietary supplements
The continuation of the COVID-19 pandemic further intensified consumer focus on immunity and overall health, highlighting the positive contribution that vitamin D and other vitamins and minerals can make to immune status in the context of viral infections. Against this background, demand for dietary supplements grew, further supported by retail- and government-led public health campaigns which maintained high consumer awareness of the relevance of immunity-optimizing products.
We continued to help our dietary supplement customers around the world to launch new immunity-supporting products in record time. Important achievements in this context in 2021 included:
- Rapid forecasting of consumer demand
- The launch in Australia of ampli-D®, our fast-acting form of vitamin D for dietary supplements. The availability of ampli-D® in Australia, the first market for its launch, followed regulatory approval by Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) for its use in dietary supplements that do not require a doctor’s prescription. In addition, we received a positive opinion for ampli-D® from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) – an important milestone on the path to market authorization in the European Union
- Complete new range of Market-Ready Solutions
- Immunity probiotics
- Culturelle® immune defense product line for both adults and children
- Focus on e-commerce and direct-to-consumer channels to capitalize on the shift in consumer shopping behavior
Continued growth in Pharma and Medical Nutrition
Our activities in the pharmaceutical and medical nutrition sectors enjoyed strong growth in 2021. This was attributable to three factors. In the first place, our expertise in supporting our customers’ global regulatory submissions facilitated their growth plans and geographical expansion. Secondly, there was strong market demand for parenteral and enteral nutrition to treat patients at their most vulnerable, including patients hospitalized due to COVID-19. Finally, there was a generally heightened focus on the value of nutrition in medical treatment, which likewise fueled demand for our solutions.
Expansion of leadership position in Early life nutrition (ELN)
The Early life nutrition segment remained under pressure in 2021 due to low reported birthrates, a continuing trend exacerbated by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the acquisition of Glycom in 2020 has helped strengthen our position in ELN, delivering more than 20 new customers for HMOs. Glycom is the world’s largest developer and producer of human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs), which also have interesting potential applications within the dietary supplement and pet food sectors. In 2021, we also made progress in obtaining Regulatory approval for HMOs in China, a leading ELN market.
Growth in i-Health
Our i-Health products continued to see positive consumer response in the US and China thanks to increased interest in self-care, immunity, and overall health and wellness. The Women’s Health portfolio, including the AZO® and Estroven® brands, delivered growth due to impactful new communication campaigns and new product launches including AZO® Women’s Dual Protection Probiotics, AZO® D-Mannose and Estroven® Complete. The AZO® brand was also launched in China, with promising early results.
Our Culturelle® probiotic range delivered consumption gains of approximately 10%, driven by a shift to larger pack sizes and new innovative Culturelle® products covering consumer needs in adult irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), Women’s Health, Kids’ Immunity and Kids’ Gummies. The brand was also recently launched in Brazil, where it started to gain traction despite challenging market conditions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Heightened focus on healthy choices drives growth in Food & Beverage
Consumer demand for healthy and environmentally sustainable food choices continued to drive growth in the food & beverage sector. The lactose-free segment maintained its rapid growth trajectory, while our broad range of ingredients and solutions supporting immunity, gut health, and healthy lifestyles also enjoyed good traction.
Through our partnerships in the public and private sectors, we continued our efforts to create affordable, aspirational and accessible nutritional solutions that can help keep the world’s growing population healthy. As part of our new strategic Food System Commitments, we undertook to enable by 2030 the closure of the micronutrient gap for 800 million of the 2 billion vulnerable people worldwide who currently suffer from micronutrient deficiencies. Rice fortification has a key role to play in this initiative, as discussed in further detail in the case study in this Report.
‘Products with Purpose’
At Vitafoods Europe 2021, we presented a number of our purpose-led solutions linked to immunity, gut and brain health and more. Taking center stage were our nutrient premixes and Market-Ready Solutions, including our algal-derived life’s®OMEGA. We also demonstrated how brands can leverage the benefits of HMOs in the dietary supplement space, as well as previewing our latest vitamin solution, V-Direct. Designed to help individuals optimize their health, V-Direct delivers vitamin C and B-group vitamins to the microbiome in the small and large intestines, thus helping to boost gut health. Last but not least, we presented our broad portfolio of solutions for the maintenance of a normal immune system, including ampli-D®.