Categorized | Americas, Asia, Europe, Features

Cibus Nexum

Posted on 11 April 2023

Last year we had the pleasure of being introduced to the company Cibus Nexum. We were impressed by their level of expertise in the food industry, particularly concerning manufacturing and plantbased protein. We thought their experience and insight could be useful to our audience of retailers and suppliers, so we decided to learn more about them in a series of Zooms, emails, and WhatsApp communications with founder, Pascal Ruzius. He conceived the initial idea for CN and the business model has been further developed and set up together with Arjen van der Wijk. Stijn de Bats also joined as a shareholder.

We are an Independent center of expertise for food contract manufacturing. We search, find, and onboard the best co-manufacturer for your current or new and innovative food products. This is what we offer:

  • Experts at the right moment
  • Vetted EU co-manufacturing network
  • Anonymous search
  • End-to-End project management
  • Solid gross margin & best time-to-market

“We have experienced that Food Brand owners – from start-ups to large companies – have to keep reinventing the wheel. There is often no structural knowledge guarantee, for example, due to staff turnover and limited current market knowledge, and unclear outsourcing strategy.

Food Contract Manufacturers, on the other hand, are often “surprised” by Brand owners and are not sure what is happening to them. This includes matters such as complex tender processes, culture & language barriers, specifications, rigid processes, and hard contract negotiations.

Cibus Nexum recognizes this dynamic and knows how to optimize it for both parties.

Food Brand Companies

Innovation Managers, Product Developers, Marketers, and Buyers Do you have limited market knowledge, and do you lack the capacity to search and find the most suitable Food Contract Manufacturer?

Do you want to change your current Producer or benchmark it?

Then you should bring in Cibus Nexum as your independent intermediary in the food industry.

What about co-manufacturing?

You might think, involving a third party may bring along additional risks and increase costs. Well, global trends and our experience show quite the opposite. Doing business with a good contract manufacturer brings the following advantages:

  • Flexibility and agility to speed up time-to-market
  • Scalability to adapt to your growth
  • Access to their knowledge and research and development resources
  • Save on cost, resources, and assets • Better budget control in the entire product life cycle.

Of course, you might run into a lot of questions and perhaps not know where to start. Making the right preparations are needed to get the best out of a search for possible candidates.

Need for innovation

In the food industry, continuous innovation, product improvement Time to Market, and margin retention are absolute prerequisites to gain and maintain a competitive advantage. Preferably you do all this by yourself, at your production location.

Outsourcing production

However, there are plenty of reasons and advantages to outsource production:

  • Lower cost
  • Higher quality
  • Better production capabilities

Our network contains your solution

Cibus Nexum has a vetted manufacturing network, secured knowledge, and an always-expanding set of tools to tackle every outsourcing project.

After we have found the most suitable Food Contract Manufacturer, we jointly proceed from your idea to finished goods. We do this in the following way:

A post in the Vegconomist stated, “Last week, Bloomberg Businessweek published an article denouncing plant-based meat as just “another fad.” The story, which purports to give a factual picture of the plant-based market through the ups and downs (though gives more of the downs) of Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat — as if other brands worldwide did not exist or play a role in the market — states that “plant-based meat is turning out to be a flop.” and-media/impossible-foods-response- bloomberg/

Cibus-Nexum has worked with many suppliers in the plant-based meat space, in your opinion, is this simply another fad?

I wouldn’t say it’s a fad. It’s like building a sandcastle, it is always flooded with new insights, adapted flavors, and recipes. Sometimes you get a bit discouraged, but there is always that period of ebb, new ideas, and better technology; building continues until a solid foundation is laid that can withstand any wave. In the Netherlands, we are already seeing a Plant-based evolution 3.0 that is different (better, more tasteful) than the cellular meat. Rival Foods is a perfect example of this.

Can you speak to the progress some of these companies have made in terms of market penetration, scale, taste, etc.?

There is good adoption of plant-based meat in Europe Wageningen University and its start-ups have made a major contribution to this. Because different streams of plantbased meat have been developed in the meantime, there is a choice for customers. In addition to the dinner/meat occasion, there are also many morning occasions such as plant-based drinks (Oatly), cheese (Violife), and cold-cut meat from Plant Craft. Throughout the day with plant-based products up to and including the plant-based barista milk of the Frisian flag in your coffee.

What are some of the most challenging obstacles these companies have faced? How have they overcome them?

Plant-based meat companies have faced several challenges, including:

  • Cost: Plant-based meat products can still be more expensive than traditional meat, making it difficult for some consumers to switch.
  • Scalability: Scaling up production to meet the growing demand for plantbased meat products has been a challenge for many companies, especially as the demand for these products continues to increase.
  • Flavor and texture: Creating a product that closely resembles the taste and texture of traditional meat have been a challenge for many companies, and some consumers still prefer the taste of real meat.
  • Ingredient sourcing: Sourcing high-quality, sustainable ingredients can be difficult and expensive, especially as demand for plant-based meat products increases.

However, many plant-based meat companies have been able to overcome these challenges by investing in research and development, improving their manufacturing processes, and collaborating with food technology experts. For example, some companies have invested in innovative technologies that improve the texture and flavor of their products, while others have formed partnerships with farmers to ensure a reliable supply of high-quality ingredients. Additionally, as the market for plant-based meat continues to grow, many companies are expected to see economies of scale, which will make their products more affordable for consumers.

Where do you see the plant-based market in 5 years? Do you think it will become as mainstream as Organic or a fad as suggested by Bloomberg?

If it may be a worthy alternative to meat, then several things are important, such as taste, structure, appearance, and yes, certainly price.

I expect that in the next 5 years, the most important precondition for a structural sales location/channel (retail, food service) and growth will be the price. People want affordable food if possible plant-based.

This requires the use of efficient Co manufacturers, smarter food technology, upstream sourcing of (preferably local) raw materials, and market introductions with a limited number of SKUs.

How do you work with these companies to improve their business practices and outcomes?

In the food industry, especially the plant-based food industry, continuous innovation, product improvement, Time to Market, and margin retention are absolute prerequisites to gain and maintain a competitive advantage. We help these companies achieve the above-mentioned prerequisites by finding the most suitable co-manufacturers, copackers, or tollers in the world.

And after we have found the most suitable Food Contract Manufacturer, we jointly proceed from the company’s idea to finished goods. As an aftersales service, we support our customers with Value engineering projects in the field of recipes, packaging, and production optimization.

Cibus Nexum B.V.
World Food Center
Nieuwe Kazernelaan 2
unit D41/office E13
6711 JC Ede, The Netherlands

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