SURFACTANT MARKET UPDATE
the same time, the natural surfactant market is growing at a faster rate
than the petro market, due to share
shift and customers’ desire for renewable surfactants, added Esposito.
As consumer preferences evolve, and
FMCG customers’ needs change,
suppliers say they are making investments to grow along with them. At
Lubrizol Advanced Materials, there’s
continued investment in the areas of
foam, sensory and mildness.
“Our focus is to be able to deliver our products, across all of our
technology platforms, as solutions
that enable our customers to make
products that deliver an enhanced
consumer experience,” said Roach.
Ajinomoto North America recently announced a $30 million investment to expand its Raleigh, NC
plant. According to Namjoshi, the investment is going to bring
in more production and employment and shows a great sign of
continual growth for the company. Recently, Ajinomoto North
America, Inc. marked its 100 year anniversary in the US. Finally,
the specialty and personal care division of Ajinomoto North
America relaunched a more informative, interactive website,
Cedar Concepts realigned personnel toward a streamlined
structure to optimize effectiveness. The company has expanded
its R&D staff, too. New business growth has been in high volume products such as amphoterics, esters and emulsifiers.
In June Stepan agreed to acquire BASF’s surfactant production
facility in Ecatepec, Mexico, and a portion of the associated surfactants business. The facility is located close to Mexico City and has
more than 50,000 metric tons of capacity, 124,000 square feet of
warehouse space, a large laboratory and office space. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2017.
“The acquisition supports the company’s growth strategy in
Latin America,” said F. Quinn Stepan Jr., chairman, president
and CEO of Stepan, at the time of the announcement. “We be-
lieve this acquisition significantly enhances Stepan’s market
position and supply capabilities for surfactants in Mexico and
positions us to grow in both the consumer and functional mar-
kets for surfactants.”
According to BASF’s Esposito, despite the sale, in the US,
BASF continues to focus on bio-based surfactants and is commit-
ted to the environment.
In a personnel move, Lonza hired Daan Thorn Leeson as
global head of skin care technology for its personal care and
hygiene businesses. Based in South Plainfield, NJ, he leads
new product development and assists in building Lonza’s
reputation as a solution provider in the highly competitive
skin care market. Leeson is a 17-year veteran of the personal
care industry, with particular focus in skin care applications. Prior
to joining Lonza, he served 10 years at Avon Products in various
senior research and innovation roles. Leeson holds three patents
for skin care applications, and has published 10 research studies.
As a host of forces shape the surfactant industry, leading suppliers say they are making the moves necessary to survive and
thrive for years to come. •
• Everyone knows that online shopping has decimated
traditional retail, but it’s also impacting surfactant demand,
according to one supplier. In noting that surfactant sales
for household and personal products has weakened, Tim
Arundel of Cedar Concepts had an interesting take on the
subject. He pointed out that despite the overall economic
upswing, retail consumerism is down.
“Due to continued growth in e-commerce many malls
and retail stores have closed,” he noted. “Consumers are
buying more and more online allowing small personal care
and household companies, which use much smaller quantities of formulations to thrive.”
SWEATING THE SMALL STUFF
Low-sudsing formulas are critical in autodish products.