CoreFX Ingredients poised to take services, offerings to next level

Editor’s note: Welcome to Ingredient Innovation, CMN’s new segment exploring recent innovations and trends in the dairy ingredients sector. For this segment, we will profile a leader in the ingredients industry as well as share updates on mergers and acquisitions and new offerings for cheese and dairy in ingredients — where flavor begins.

Photo courtesy of CoreFX Ingredients

INSPIRING INNOVATION — Lia Tsikretsis, research and development technician at CoreFX ingredients, mixes a solution with dried butter powder to examine solubility. CoreFX is focused on driving disruption through science and creativity.

Photo courtesy of CoreFX Ingredients
NOURISH AND NURTURE — CoreFX Ingredients seeks to make the world a better place through nutrition, says owner Denis Neville, noting dairy is a natural part of that.

By Alyssa Mitchell

EVANSTON, Ill. — Following his recent acquisition of a majority stake in CoreFX Ingredients from Ornua, owner Denis Neville is looking to the future as he prepares to take CoreFX — a leading supplier of innovative, dry nutritional ingredients based in Evanston, Illinois — to the next level.

Neville has been a partner of Ornua since it acquired the CoreFX Ingredients business in 2016. During the partnership, he played an integral role in shaping the company’s strategic direction and fostering a culture of innovation and success. The acquisition last month marks Neville’s commitment to CoreFX and to driving innovation and excellence while delivering on health through nutrition in the food, beverage and nutraceutical industries.

“Having founded CoreFX with an expectation of continuous evolution, I am excited to embark on this new chapter to unlock our full potential,” Neville says. “With a clear strategic vision and focus on innovation, we will leverage our collective expertise to drive growth, deliver optimal value to our customers and position CoreFX Ingredients as a leader in the markets we serve.”

CoreFX’s proprietary processes convert natural, plant and dairy-based oils into highly stable, convenient powders that are clean label, neutral-tasting, highly dispersible and customizable. Its brands include OmegaFX, NutriCoreFX,
CreamerCoreFX, CheezeCoreFX and DairyCoreFX in addition to its new line of bioactive compounds.

The business is focused on driving disruption through science and creativity, expanding market reach and enhancing operational efficiencies. Neville says his new growth vision for CoreFX Ingredients is driven by its customer-first approach encompassed by agility, collaboration and transparency. This initiative is key to delivering value to customers and ensuring success in meeting ever-changing consumer demands in the marketplace.

“Our mission hasn’t changed — it’s still about doing the best that we can for our customers, and that starts with looking after our own people,” he says. “We will continue to double down on looking out for our customers and putting them first, and now that we’re independent, so to speak, we can do that in a more agile way.”
Neville says the business is based on three pillars of success — service, creativity and integrity.

“Service was critically important from day one,” he says. “We put a lot of endeavor into looking after our customers, as well as our suppliers. None of what we do is transactional, and that’s served us well over time.”
On the creativity side, CoreFX always is striving to create and evolve, Neville says.

“I like to think of what we do as not just innovation, but also imagination. Using imagination to come up with something that solves problems for customers, as well as internally, whether it’s operations or systems — we jump on it and get it done,” he says.

In fact, the company gives a quarterly award to an employee, called the “Getting It Done” award, he adds.

Neville notes his approach to service and integrity originates from growing up in rural Ireland on a dairy farm.

“Our culture was one of looking out for each other, and one of getting it done,” he says. “It takes a lot of energy, and when you grow up in that environment, you always have to get it done (on the dairy farm) — cows don’t milk themselves. I also grew up in an environment where neighbors looked out for each other and where everyone worked hard and played hard. I like to think we nurture that culture here.”

Neville notes CoreFX plans to add some new positions to its employee roster in the future.

“We’ve been in a holding pattern for awhile, and that includes people — especially on the front lines, like sales and marketing. We need to beef that up, and we already are working on that,” he says. “We’re working on adding creative talent — we always want to make sure we have enough resources for growth. More demand means more creation, and that means more great people needed to accomplish that.”

He’s quick to add that CoreFX Ingredients did grow and create under Ornua, but not at the pace Neville was aiming for, and “that’s what is going to change,” he says.

Neville emphasizes that CoreFX Ingredients is reinvigorating its focus on cheese and dairy.

“From a supply perspective, we have really good supply relationships on the dairy and cheese side, but we really want to double down and emphasize those relationships as our focus increases moving forward,” he says.

CoreFX also will hone in on its mission of making the world a better place through nutrition, he says. With an increased focus on nourishment and nurturing, dairy is a natural part of that, he adds.

One offering is CoreFX Ingredients’ CheezeCoreFX solutions, which are suitable for snacks, soups, sauces, baked goods, dips and more.

“Creating functional foods and beverages, and solutions for cheese — for us, it’s all about drying cheese,” Neville says. “Protein, fat and minerals — that’s what cheese is, so it’s a fantastic nutritional solution, and once you can make it tasty and functional, then it works very well.”

The company has had particular success in the dry macaroni and cheese segment, and has plans to grow with its client base there, he adds.

“We want to add nutritional value while still delivering on taste and functionality,” he says.

Under DairyCoreFX, the company offers a portfolio of dry dairy-based ingredients that feature traditional flavors like butter and cream that consumers crave. DairyCoreFX’s high-fat powders deliver a concentrated flavor and rich texture, making them ideal for baking, cooking, smoothies, shakes, sauces and soups.

CoreFX Ingredients also offers CreamerCoreFX, a suite of plant-forward, clean-label lipids that deliver superior functionality, making them an ideal option for adding creaminess and color to food and beverage applications.

“Our CreamerCoreFX powder solutions are great-tasting, allergen-free and vegetarian-friendly alternatives to traditional dairy-based creams. They offer comparable mouthfeel and whitening capabilities,” Neville says.
He notes the dairy industry has grappled a bit with competition from plant-based protein alternatives, but Neville says he views these products as a complement to dairy offerings.

“I know the industry has struggled a bit with this, but they’ve also overcome it,” he says, citing butter versus margarine as a historical example and noting how butter manufacturers adopted by entering into the realm of butter spreads.

“Consumers want to trust what they’re consuming,” he adds. “They want it to be traceable, authentic and sustainable. Anything that’s done right in the cheese and dairy world ticks all of those boxes, as well as in the world of functional food and beverage.”

Neville notes that dairy fits into consumers’ vision of a health halo as well.

“Consumers are very savvy and they know that dairy has a health halo, so we feel very good about promoting cheese and dairy in the nutraceutical world that we’re very much focused on,” he says.

The company’s tagline is “Nourish and Nurture Bodies and Minds.”

“We put our customers first, promoting optimized nutrition through holistic solutions to improve quality and longevity of life for all,” Neville says. “Nutrition is the foundation for optimal health and performance, playing a crucial role in fueling our bodies and supporting overall cognitive function. As an evolved nutrition company, we are nourishing and nurturing bodies and minds with a purpose-driven and authentic approach to holistic wellness.”

CoreFX delivers customization capabilities that not only meet clean-label standards but also incorporate prebiotic elements and promote sustainability through upcycling, ensuring that its products align with the highest consumer and environmental expectations, he adds.

Moving forward, CoreFX will continue to grow through expanding its reach — whether through additional acquisitions or partnerships with other brands on the supply side, Neville says.


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