Case study Niacet - Participation in the NF4 Innovation Tour to China

Submitted by Jeroen Wouters on 17 June 2019

Niacet is an international company, producer of organic salts, focusing on propionates and acetates. In food these products are used for food preservation and food safety in the bakery-, meat-, poultry-, fish- and RTE industry. Niacet has been a member of Foodvalley for 3 years and participates in multiple (international) events and exhibitions. Niacet participated in the New Frontiers in Food Fast Foward (NF4) Innovation Tour to China to investigate its business opportunities for propionates and acetates and gain insights in the Chinese market. 

From the 13th to the 17th of May, Niacet joined the Innovation Tour to China in Xiamen (Fujian) and Shanghai. Activities in Xiamen (Fujian) were organized in collaboration with the local NF4-organization partner Foodvalley China, these activities included a tailor-made conference with presentations of Chinese local business opportunities, pitching opportunities for the EU-companies and interaction with Chinese importers, agents, distributors, local government and food companies. In Shanghai the delegation visited the DSM Innovation Center and Shanghai Jiao Tong University, including presentations about the differences of the innovation landscape in Europe and China and the R&D environment. Besides, the delegation visited the SIAL Shanghai exhibition and the network reception of the Dutch agricultural consulate. 

By participating in the mission Niacet gained insight in the barriers and challenges how to enter the Chinese market. It also provided information about the additives used in Chinese consumer products by discussions with producers, attended presentations, investigations and visits to various supermarkets. Henk Jan van Lent, Product & Innovation Manager Niacet: 

“It was a very interesting tour. What strikes me most was the big size of China, the big size of the cities here and the immense amount of people.” 

“The highlight was to visit SIAL and to see how many companies are exhibiting here. Also the visit to DSM this morning with the talks from Mintel and the Dutch Innovation consulate was really interesting.”

Most relevant contacts for Niacet during the mission were in the industry of functional food additives, specifically with meat producers and industrial bakeries. New contacts were not only from China but also from Russia and Europe. Of these contacts Niacet expects to keep in contact with at least 5 companies and sign 1 to 2 cooperation agreements. 

One of the products of Niacet is already registered in China, however Niacet will first develop a strategy what they would like to do before taking next steps. Besides, further investigation of the opportunities in the meat-industry in China would be necessary. Finding a distributor with experience in importing products from Europe with a strong presence in meat-, poultry-, bakery-, fish- and ready-to-eat-industry would be beneficial.

For next international delegation programs, Henk Jan van Lent advises to expand the program as 4 days for a mission is quite short to investigate a new large market, meet relevant contacts and explore new business opportunities. Only one day to visit the SIAL Shanghai with 4.100 exhibitors was short. Besides, specific matchmaking would be helpful with finding your way in China, also because of language barriers. 

Watch the video with experiences of the Tour here or read more about the activities in the NF4 Innovation Tour:

Company information:  Niacet is a leading producer of organic salts, focusing on propionates and acetates, serving the Food, Pharmaceutical and Technical industry. Our products fill vital needs in a broad range of applications that are essential to everyday life including food preservation (shelf life), food safety (listeria control), antibiotics formulation, dialysis treatment, energy production and many more. Niacet’s innovative Provian products provide food safety for the meat-, poultry-, fish- and RTE industry. The range includes lactate/(di)acetate based solids highly active, potassium(di)acetate based products and vinegar-based clean label solutions. In Niacet’s laboratories and pilot facility our food-, chemical- and microbiological experts are constantly developing innovative solutions for todays and tomorrows problems. Our latest developments are clean label products for a variety of applications.


Cluster organisation
New Frontiers in Food Fast Forward
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