The company aims to accelerate international growth by creating a network of partners. The company said partners could be, for example, distributors in markets where Valio doesn’t have its own network. This would give Valio Oddlygood products a faster track to various target markets. The spin-off also enables the core team to have the best possible focus on business development.
“People are increasingly interested in plant-based products, and changing global consumer trends are behind this. We see a lot of opportunities for Valio in the strongly growing market for plant-based products in Finland and abroad,” said Tuomas Salusjärvi, Valio’s executive vice president, growth businesses and R&D.
“Oddlygood Global Ltd is a launch that aligns with our new strategy aiming to expand Valio’s international business. We will now pursue this growth increasingly stronger with Oddlygood Global Ltd and international partners.”
Oddlygood Global will be led by CEO Niko Vuorenmaa, previously SVP, Valio Food business unit. Reetta Tikanmäki, previously Valio’s category manager, is appointed chief operational officer. Petteri Leskinen, previously Valio’s SVP, business development, will head finance as chief financial officer. Six people will transfer to the company.
Valio brought plant-based snacks and beverages to the market in 2018 under the Valio Oddlygood brand, and the product portfolio has since expanded to the plant-based cheese alternative Oddlygood Veggie products. Valio Oddlygood products are currently exported to Sweden, the Baltic countries, Russia, and the US, among others. Sales of Valio Oddlygood products doubled from 2019 to 2020, and the goal is to further grow sales more forcefully.
“Our strengths include our comprehensive experience with food sector business operations and, together with Valio, high-quality product development and production know-how going back 116 years, ultramodern production technology, and premium raw materials like Finnish oats. Valio Oddlygood products already have a strong foothold in Finland and Sweden. Growth with the support of a partnership network offers us a faster track than organic growth to markets where we don’t yet have our own sales and distribution network,” Vuorenmaa said.
Annikka Hurme, Valio CEO, said, “Valio has world-class research and development expertise. In addition to milk products, we are able to apply this expertise broadly to many other raw ingredients. Spinning of Valio Oddlygood business is one of the new operational models that we use to pursue more extensive commercial utilization of our expertise, and international growth.”