The History of The Raisio Group


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Raisio Oyj, known internationally as Raisio Group (OMX: RAIVV), is a Finnish company that makes cereal products and animal feeds and engages in life-sciences. The headquarters are situated in Raisio, Finland.

Raisio's operations are divided into two divisions: Brands and Raisioagro.

The Brand divisio’s main products include breakfast, snack and baking products, cholesterol-lowering functional foods, the ingredient of plant stanol ester in Benecol products as well as activities related to the international commercialisation of the Benemilk innovation. The most recognised food brands are Benecol, Elovena, Provena, Sunnuntai, Honey Monster, Nordic, Fox's, Poppets ja Juicee Gummee.

Raisioagro’s focus is on cattle and fish feeds, grain trade and online store. Raisioagro's most recognised feed brands are Benemilk, Maituri and Hercules. They are commercialized mainly in Finland. [1]

Raisio Group’s net sales in 2014 totalled almost EUR 500 million. At the end of 2014, Raisio Group employed over 1860 people of which about 20% located in Finland and the rest oversees.[2] Raisio has production sites in four countries and in 12 locations. The Group's key market areas are Finland, the UK, Russia, Ukraine, Poland and the Czech Republic. Markets for the Benecol ingredient are global.[3]


Contents  []

1 Sustainable growth from innovations

2 History

3 References

4 External links



Sustainable growth from innovations[]


In its strategical phases Raisio moved in 2010 to the growth phase that is still continuing. Raisio is growing organically and through acquisitions. The core of Raisio's strategy includes innovations and healthy, ecological snacks. Raisio’s innovations include the cholesterol-lowering Benecol as well as Benemilk with its ability to increase milk yield and improve contents of milk.[4][5]



Raisio plc was established in 1939 in Finland. Raisio got its start as Oy Vehnä Ab, a mill founded by Finnish wheat farmers to grind the wheat grown by its shareholders and to market the flour. In 2004, the company divested its paper chemical division, Raisio Chemicals, to Ciba Specialty Chemicals.[6] In 2009, Raisio sold its margarine business to Bunge Limited.[7][8] Raisio Group acquired the British food company Glisten in 2010.[9] The next year, Raisio acquired Big Bear.[10] In November 2014 Raisio acquired the Benecol business from the affiliates of Johnson & Johnson in the UK, Ireland and Belgium and amended the agreement on the Northern American markets of Benecol.[11]




1. up ^ "Raisioagro". Raisio Group. Retrieved 19 August 2015.

2. up ^ "Raisio plc Financial Statements 2014". Raisio plc Financial Statements 2014. Retrieved 19 August 2015.

3. up ^ "Raisio Group". Raisio. Retrieved 19 August 2015.

4. up ^ "Strategic phases". Raisio's Annual Report 2014. Retrieved 19 August 2015.

5. up ^ "Strategic objectives". Raisio's Annual Report 2014. Retrieved 19 August 2015.

6. up ^ "2004 Industry Review". Chemical & Engineering News Volume 82, Number 51 (American Chemical Society). 2004-12-20. pp. 26–33.

7. up ^ "Raisio to sell margarine business, shares soar". Reuters UK. Thomson Reuters. 2009-05-14. Retrieved 2010-12-14.

8. up ^ "Bunge Limited (BG) Company Profile". Thomson Reuters. Retrieved 2010-12-14.

9. up ^ "Raisio finalises UK snack food acquisition". Food& (Decision News Media). 2010-04-08. Retrieved 2010-12-14.

10. up ^ Raisio completes capture of Sugar Puffs owner Big Bear

11. up ^ "Raisio acquired Benecol business from affiliates of Johnson & Johnson". Nasdaq Globenewswire. Retrieved 19 August 2015.


External links[]

Official website

Categories: Companies listed on the Helsinki Stock Exchange

Food companies of Finland

Companies established in 1939

Benecol is a brand of cholesterol lowering food products owned by the Finnish company Raisio Group, which owns the trademark.

Raisio Group licenses the Benecol brand and sells the ingredient stanol ester to food companies around the world. The brand is licensed in more than 30 countries by local food companies such as Kaiku in Spain, Colanta in Colombia, Lotte in Korea and Kalbe Nutritionals in Indonesia. [1]

Contents  []

1 Effects on health

2 Effects on cholesterol

3 About the products

4 See also

5 References

6 External links

Effects on health[]


The European Commission approved the following statement regarding Benecol products: "Plant stanol esters have been shown to lower/reduce blood cholesterol. Blood cholesterol lowering may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease" but noted that "there are no studies demonstrating that plant stanol esters have an impact on population-based CHD morbidity and mortality rates".[2]


The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence of England and Wales similarly found that while "[t]here is evidence that foods containing plant sterols and stanols reduce cholesterol levels", the government body concludes that "there is not enough evidence at the moment that these products prevent cardiovascular disease."[3]


Effects on cholesterol[]

The European Commission has authorised that an LDL-cholesterol lowering effect of 7 - 10% can be achieved in 2–3 weeks by a daily intake of plant stanol esters equivalent to 1.5 – 2.4 g of plant stanols in an appropriate food.[2]


Consuming more than 3g of plant stanol per day is not recommended and Benecol foods may not be appropriate for pregnant or breast feeding women, and children under 5 years old.[4]


There are over 70 clinical studies proving that plant stanol ester lowers cholesterol levels.[5] [6] [7]


Benecol foods have been found as a way to reduce cholesterol[8] and they also can help lower cholesterol in people that are taking statins.[9] However, it is important that those already taking cholesterol lowering medication consult with their GP (Primary Care Physician) before embarking on dietary cholesterol programmes.


The review, published in European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, in January 2009 listed plant stanol ester among the ten greatest discoveries related to nutrition during the past 30 years.[10] The discoveries chosen were based on the views of the world's leading nutrition researchers and solid research data.


About the products[]


The first Benecol product was a spread that was brought to market in Finland in 1995. Since then, the product line has expanded to fat spreads, yogurts, yogurt drinks, cream cheese style spreads, milk and soy drinks, bread and oatmeal. The availability of different products varies in different countries.


Yogurt Drinks Each bottle contains 2g of cholesterol lowering plant stanols. Benecol Yogurt Drinks are available in a number of different flavours and also includes a Dairy Free Fruit and Soya variety.


Spread Benecol spread, as marketed in Finland, is a product containing 32% fat. The main source of fat is rapeseed (canola) oil. Later varieties of Benecol spread in the UK include Olive Spread (55% fat), Buttery Taste Spread (63% fat) and Light Spread (35% Fat).


Yogurts Low fat bio yoghurts are available in a range of different flavours. In the UK and Ireland, each yogurt has 1 serving of Benecol (0.8g plant stanols). Outside of the UK and Ireland, each yogurt contains 2g of plant stanols.


Cream Cheese Spread 20g, or 4 level teaspoons of Benecol Cream Cheese Style Spread, equals one serving (0.8g of plant stanols).


Bread 4 slices of Dobrogea Benecol Rye Bread contains the daily intake of 2g of plant stanols.


See also[]





1. up ^ Food (2008-03-14). "Yearly results raise Raisio expectations". Retrieved 2008-04-08.

2.^  up to: a b European Food Safety Authority (2008). "Plant Stanol Esters and Blood Cholesterol" (PDF) 825. p. 2–2. Retrieved 2011-03-05.

3. up ^ Hope, Jenny (2008-05-31). "Low-cholesterol spread 'not certain to cut heart risks', GPs told". Daily Mail (London).

4. up ^ "Serving Guide, Benecol Website".

5. up ^ Law, M. (2000). "Plant sterol and stanol margarines and health" (320). p. 861-864. Retrieved 2011-03-05.

6. up ^ Miettinen; et al. (1995). "Reduction of serum cholesterol with Sitostanol-Ester Margarine in a Mildly Hypercholesterolaemic Population with mildly elevated cholesterol" 333. p. 1308–1312. Retrieved 2011-03-05.

7. up ^ Katan; et al. (2003). "Efficacy and Safety of Plant Stanols and Sterols in the Management of Blood Cholesterol Levels". Mayo Clin. Proc. 78 (8): 965–78. doi:10.4065/78.8.965. PMID 12911045.

8. up ^ Martikainen, JA.; et al. (2007). "Plant stanol esters are potentially cost-effective in the prevention of coronary heart disease in men: Bayesian modelling approach.". Eur J Cardiovasc Prev Rehabil 14 (2): 265–72. doi:10.1097/01.hjr.0000216550.74258.12. PMID 17446806.

9. up ^ Blair, S.; et al. (2000). "Incremental reduction of serum total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol with the addition of plant stanol ester-containing spread to statin therapy" 86. p. 46–52. Retrieved 2011-03-05.

10. up ^ Katan; et al. (2009). "Which are the greatest recent discoveries and the greatest challenges in Nutrition? Eur J Clin Nutr" 63. p. 2-10



Raisio Group is an international expert in plant-based nutrition. Our strategic target is to grow organically and through acquisitions.


Raisio is known for its innovations, of which cholesterol-lowering Benecol is one good example and Benemilk, with its ability to increase milk yield and improve contents of milk, another.


Raisio's top innovations and numerous inventions are proof of the company's ability to develop methods and products to solve global problems and profitability issues concerning the agri-food sector. Moreover, Raisio was the first company in the world to use water and carbon footprint labels on consumer products.


Raisio's main products include breakfast, snack and baking products, the ingredient of plant stanol ester in Benecol products as well as Benecol range, confectionery and feeds for livestock and fish. The Group's key market areas are Finland, the UK, Russia, Ukraine, Poland and the Czech Republic. Markets for the Benecol products are global.


Raisio's operations are divided into two divisions: Brands and Raisioagro. Raisio's most recognised food brands are Benecol, Elovena, Sunnuntai, Honey Monster, Nordic, Fox's, Poppets and Juicee Gummee. Raisioagro's most recognised feed brands are Benemilk, Hercules, Maituri and Herkku.


Raisio plc is a Finnish company established in 1939, whose shares are listed on NASDAQ OMX Helsinki Ltd. The company has over 36,000 shareholders. It employs some 1,700 people and operates in 13 countries. Group's net sales in 2014 were EUR 494 million and EBIT was EUR 35 million.



Raisio's vision is to be a forerunner in ecological and healthy snacks with leading brands as well as an active developer of sustainable food chain. The company's strategic objectives are based on this vision. Raisio's operations in 2007-2014 fall into three strategic phases. In 2010, following the phases of turnaround and improved profitability, Raisio moved to the growth phase that is still continuing.


On 19 November 2014, Raisio acquired the Benecol business from the affiliates of Johnson & Johnson in the UK, Ireland and Belgium and amended the agreement on the Northern American markets of Benecol. The acquisition is estimated to increase Raisio's EBIT by some 9 million euros annually. The integration of the acquired business as part of Raisio was completed according to plan.


The acquisitions and divestments Raisio has completed during its growth phase have significantly improved the company's EBIT.


Raisio's EBIT 2007-2014 and acquisitions



Raisio has shown its ability to complete successful acquisitions

•The acquisition of British Glisten plc in April 2010 was the first concrete example of the implementation of Raisio's growth strategy. The acquisition of Big Bear Group in February 2011 complemented very well the Glisten acquisition and brings the necessary critical mass for the future. With the completed acquisitions, Raisio has gained a solid foothold in the UK breakfast and snack market.

•In March 2012, the Group's food operations in Poland expanded in line with objectives as we acquired Sulma's pasta and grits operations. The acquisition enables Raisio's growth as well as the expansion of our product range in Poland. In November 2012, Raisio acquired the Czech company Plus, a confectionery manufacturer. This acquisition complements Raisio's existing and successful confectionery activities in the UK trading as Big Bear Confectionery.

•In April 2013, Raisio and Intellectual Ventures set up a joint venture called Benemilk Oy in Finland. The joint venture aims to develop and strengthen the intellectual property rights portfolio related to the Benemilk® invention and to commercialise the invention for global markets. With the arrangement, the Benemilk invention has been transferred to the joint venture, which grants Raisio a royalty-free, exclusive license to the invention and its future applications in Finland.

•In November 2014, Raisio Group acquired the Benecol business in the UK, Ireland and Belgium from Cilag GmbH International and amended its agreement concerning North American rights to Benecol with McNEIL-PPC, Inc. For the first time since 1997, Raisio will have all the rights to the Benecol brand and plant stanol ester, the Benecol product ingredient. This allows Raisio to develop the business globally on a new basis.



This page was last modified on 7 November 2015, at 20:52.

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