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Corporate strategy for fermentation business unit

Project request

A leading European agricultural company with over $1B in revenue, has recently been increasing the focus on the alternative protein and specialty ingredient solutions space.

The company's management reached out to Bright Green Partners to help develop a corporate strategy for a fermentation derived product platform incl. defining the target fermentation derived products portfolio, that focuses on a 3–5-year timeframe and beyond.

Our methodology

Over 3.5 months, the project was run in two workstreams: one focusing on first generation feedstock (e.g., sucrose, glucose) fermentation derived products and the second one on valorizing second generation feedstock (i.e., byproducts). Both workstreams investigated various types of fermentation processes incl. de novo, biomass, enzymatic.

In the first workstream, we provided a holistic analysis of the strategic fit and economic viability of a fermentation play and combined this with a perspective on potential synergies with the client's capabilities. We then mapped market potential across 15 groups of fermentation derived product categories (e.g., lipids, proteins, sweeteners, pre/pro/post biotics), evaluating these per end-markets, including food & nutrition and non-food (personal and home care). Together, we shortlisted the 5 most promising product categories across target end markets. Each area was examined in depth to assess its strategic and financial fit to our client's goal in expanding sustainable ingredients’ platform. The workstream concluded the target product portfolio with a high-level execution plan and financial model outlining the financial prospects of the new business unit.

Workstream 2 focused on second generation feedstocks. Assessment began with a long list of 1,500+ combinations of feedstocks, fermentation types and finished products. Via complex assessment of this holistic list BGP supported the client in narrowing down to 9 distinct product groups, holding largest opportunity for the client company, creating strategic focus. These included examples like mycoprotein and were based on strategic and technological factors, such as technological maturity, key development factors and investment approach.

The project consisted of a core team made up of 2 Project Managers and 3 Consultants for both workstreams, leveraging the insights of 40+ experts in biotechnology. We scouted the experts from across the ecosystem of fermentation space including professionals from leading research institutions, startups and corporates focused on specialty materials/food ingredients. The deliverables were further enriched by market research and academic literature.

Project deliverable

Our findings outlined a total of 4 target product groups: 2 short-term (commercialized in <3 years) initiatives, detailing target fermentation technology platforms and products, as well as 2 initiatives for the medium-term (commercialized in >3 years). 

Our deliverable clearly defined the capabilities required for our client to successfully enter this field, and an actionable step-by-step plan to achieve the revenue potential of EUR 100M+ from the newly developed fermentation platform. The client confirmed to have been ramping up efforts and following the execution plan to establish presence in the fermentation space.
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