Valio is spinning off the business operations of the plant-based Valio Oddlygood products to Oddlygood Global. The company aims to accelerate growth by creating a network of partners. The partners could be, for example, distributors in markets where Valio does not have its 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 many opportunities for Valio in the strongly growing market for plant-based products in Finland and abroad. Oddlygood Global 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 and international partners,” says Valio’s Tuomas Salusjärvi, executive vice president, Growth Businesses and R&D.
Oddlygood Global is seeking one or more partners who can bring distribution and sales networks and resources to accelerate international growth in various markets.
Oddlygood Global will be lead by chief executive officer Niko Vuorenmaa, previously senior vice president, Valio Food business unit. Reetta Tikanmäki, previously Valio’s category manager, is appointed chief operational officer. Petteri Leskinen, previously Valio’s senior vice president, Business Development, will head finance as chief financial officer. A total of six individuals forming the business line will transfer to the company.
Strong expertise as a competitive advantage
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, Baltic countries, Russia, and the United States. Sales of Valio Oddlygood products doubled from 2019 to 2020, and the goal is to grow sales furthermore 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 sales and distribution network,” says Vuorenmaa.
“Valio has world-class research and development expertise. In addition to milk products, we can apply this expertise broadly to many other raw ingredients. The 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,” says Valio’s chief executive officer Annikka Hurme.
Valio’s research and development activities rank high on a global scale. Valio’s patent portfolio is extensive, and the ability to innovate covers much more than just traditional milk processing activities. Valio utilizes its R&D capabilities full-scale to its whole portfolio. Valio has successfully capitalized on its deep understanding of the properties and interplay of different proteins, fats, carbohydrates, and minerals to develop superior milk and vegetable-based products.