CK Ingredients is dedicated to supporting human health and wellbeing as a provider of innovative, functional and nutritional raw materials to the Canadian food, beverage and natural health products industry. CK Ingredients’ core markets include bakery products, cereal and snack foods, processed meat and poultry, dairy, functional foods and nutraceuticals. Over the years, the company has established itself as a leading supplier of functional and science-based ingredients to the multi-billion dollar food, beverage and health supplement market in Canada.
With decades of experience, CK Ingredients offers its supplier partners a thorough understanding of the Canadian marketplace. The company has developed excellent relationships with decision-makers and influencers at Canada’s leading food, beverage and natural health product manufacturers. This combination of intimate market knowledge and strong industry contacts enables the company to shorten what is typically a lengthy sales cycle and bring new products to market quicker. CK Ingredients boasts an impressive list of clients that include many of Canada’s largest and most respected manufacturers and marketers of food products and dietary supplements.
Michael Chernyak, President and CEO of CK Ingredients, said, “We started out in 1982 as a distributor of commodity-oriented ingredients to the retail baking trade. However, in the mid-1990s the industry began to experience a fundamental shift — consumers began to increasingly shop for baked goods at chain grocery and club-pack stores. Having recognized this shift, we were forced to re-evaluate our business model and this exercise set us out in an entirely new direction — sourcing and supply of high-value functional ingredients to the greater food industry. In April of 2007, after many years of success in the food sector, we added an exciting new dimension to our business — the supply of innovative science-backed ingredients to the ever-expanding Canadian natural products sector. In the five years that have ensued, we have become Canada’s leading supplier of patented, evidence-based specialty ingredients to mid-sized and large manufacturers and marketers of dietary supplements, natural health products and sports nutrition formulas. We supply our extensive and expanding line of condition-specific ingredients as well as chelated minerals to Canada’s foremost natural health product brands. In fact, our nutraceutical ingredients business now represents roughly two-thirds of our revenue and earnings, with food making up the remainder.
“Our strategy of developing this lucrative market segment has enabled us to achieve double-digit sales growth for three years straight. This trend is expected to continue as we achieve deeper market penetration with existing products and also introduce new high-value raw materials to the Canadian market. Other areas that are expected to contribute to our growth include entry into the Canadian pharmaceutical ingredient supply market, as well as a carefully planned expansion into the U.S. dietary supplement market.”
The company business model – partnering with U.S. and international suppliers of innovative food and health ingredients in Canada – may be straightforward, yet has proven to be highly effective and profitable. “Our experience is that many ingredient suppliers wish to expand into Canada, however they underestimate the required effort and commitment, or voluntarily choose not to set aside the necessary resources to properly develop this market. This is where we come in. We align ourselves strategically with these companies and assume responsibility for all key activities in Canada, including sales development, marketing and distribution. In essence, we do the ‘heavy lifting’ in Canada and are able to get superior results with a shorter sales cycle, while allowing our supplier partners to focus their resources in other markets. We are currently representing some 15 companies at this strategic level in Canada.”
As CK Ingredients continues its success, the company focuses on expanding its nutritional ingredients portfolio around IP-protected products, covering a wide range of health conditions including antioxidant protection, blood glucose control, cardiovascular support, detoxification, digestive health, energy, eye health, immune support, joint health, menopause, mental acuity, skin health, sports nutrition, stress management and weight control. Jim Bornhold, CK’s Vice-President of Sales, has been instrumental in the growth and success of the company’s nutritional ingredients division. Formerly Director of International Sales at Jamieson Laboratories, Canada’s leading manufacturer and marketer of branded dietary supplements, Bornhold told The American Business Journal, “Rather than focus on supplying a broad range of generic ingredients to the food, beverage and natural health products sector, we elected to hand-pick a portfolio of products that deliver truly unique results for our clients. This strategy had served us well in the past and continues to prove successful as we are creating outstanding value and returns – for our customers and supplier partners alike – on a repeat basis.”
Chernyak added, “Canada enjoys an excellent global reputation for product quality and is home to some of the finest and most respected food, beverage, dietary supplement and sports nutrition product manufacturers on the planet. To provide extraordinary value to this segment we carefully screen our supplier partners, using extensive due-diligence criteria developed in-house. Consumer demands for taste, texture, convenience, quality, variety and nutrition continue to evolve and manufacturers expect new solutions and innovations with respect to flavour, function, and nutrition. Balancing consumer preferences and manufacturer demands has been a key factor in our success.”
Recently, CK Ingredients underwent a corporate name change, the first in the company’s 30 year history. To this Chernyak added, “The company originally launched as C.K. Foods Inc. and we maintained that name for many years. More recently, we came to the decision that it is time to begin a new chapter. CK Ingredients is a reflection of the company’s objective to solidify its position as Canada’s leading supplier of innovative specialty ingredients. That being said, we expect to launch CK’s new corporate website, to better reflect our brand, in mid-June.”