With extra virgin olive oil, flavored with berries, rice pudding, biscuit, etc. At first glance it may seem like an ice cream ad, but it is about clinical nutrition products (shakes, food supplements, etc.) for patients and grandparents of Adventia Pharma, a company that has even been the cause of the change of a royal decree of dietary nutrition in 2014.
This Canarian company landed in this market in full real estate, in 2010, because in the midst of crisis and bounced from the world of construction they decided to take a business turn. “Since they are not drugs, with more difficult access, they had a greater possibility of bank financing,” said Alfonso Almeida, general director and architect of this project, together with the founder, José Javier Díaz Ortega, now excited because they already guard the most large.
This was “a market that is well-off and static in innovation,” dominated by four multinationals, Nestlé, Nutricia (Danone), Abott and Fresenius, which had 80% of the market. But why do cancer patients or the elderly always have to drink the same flavored milkshakes? These two kamikazes were asked, among many other things. They wanted to do something different and reach a reasonable market share, today of 4% but in two years of 7%.
“We simply wanted to make products with higher quality, and we did not move by price because they are marked by the State, since everyone goes to the National Health System, ”says Almeida,“ and although our production costs are higher, we do not sell more expensive. ”
Recognizes that it has not been easy for them to be taken seriously , not even the competition, because they had no experience. In fact, the company took five years to develop and until 2016 it did not reach a relevant commercial activity.
Today, they allocate 10% of the income to research and produce their own formulations , thanks to the fact that they have become a pharmaceutical laboratory. His work is closely followed by the competition, "we receive attacks, tempt our staff," he adds. They have 65 employees, 45 commercials and the rest biologists, pharmacists, doctors and technicians. One of the first things Adventia was clear about was improving the raw material, and it was achieved by incorporating extra virgin olive oil into the liquid part of the shakes. He had a lot of acceptance because, he says, “they went to ask the medical group directly about the real needs of the patients.”
Just because it came from another reality, Adventia did not understand that the 36-unit shake packs were same flavor "We talked to the Ministry of Health and launched a mixed flavor that was not only the cause of the regulatory change in nutrition, but also caused the complaints of the well-off multinationals," which today have mixed packages of flavors. In addition, it has included aromatic ampoules that allow patients to modulate the flavor of berries, biscuit, rice pudding, orange or caramel, especially for cancer patients, who have chemotherapy with the altered taste (everything tastes like metal), and for the elderly.
The packaging was also revolutionary, opting for cardboard (instead of plastic) thanks to the collaboration of the Tetra Pack company, an initiative that even Abott has already implemented. It is now focused on the launch of personalized and fully digitized nutrition.
Since its inception, the DNA of Adventia has been innovation; In fact, during 2015 and 2016, more than 10% of its revenues went to research new products and technology. A rate that has remained above 5% until today. Currently, it has two R&D projects that exceed 1.2 million euros.
In 2017, Alisenoc started its first project, with the support of the CDTI (Center for Industrial Technological Development), which is accompanying it in its research journey. The aim of Alisenoc is to develop a new medical food for cancer patients and the execution of clinical trials. The idea was to make a diet with new nutritional supplements, sensorially suitable for these patients, so far "non-existent in the international market," says Alfonso Almeida, its CEO. This project has been complemented with Sunespro, also supported by the CDTI. A program that includes the development of specific nutritional supplements with probiotics for the dietary treatment of chronic pathologies, such as chronic kidney disease on hemodialysis and Crohn's disease.
But the most ambitious initiative is the launch, soon, of Supranut, which is based on personalization and digitalization. Although they still cannot reveal much of the new project, "the goal is to get an à la carte nutrition, so that the doctor and the patient can request in a digital platform the necessary nutrients to include in the shakes according to each case." There is already an ingredient and packaging company interested in participating in this project, which the company plans to put into the hands of the competition.
Surgery. In June, Adventia launched a multivitamin and mineral food supplement for bariatric surgery (Barimix). Its roadmap includes the production of nutritional supplements for athletes, but not in the short term.
Export. In 2018, it entered the Portuguese market and this year it plans to enter Mexico, Panama, Costa Rica and Greece through distributors.
Production. Enteral nutrition, probe, modules and food supplements (Bi1) are its main products. And it has products for weight control and for the cancer patient (Bi1 Preload), and also for the care of the skin and mucous membranes by chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatments (Tectum Skincare).