SAN JOSE, CALIF. — Knowde, a digital marketplace for chemicals, polymers and ingredients, is expanding into the food and nutrition industry. Research and development and procurement professionals may search, filter and purchase ingredients online from leading suppliers at www.knowde.com.
The platform also provides access to expert advice and insight.
“Our overarching mission with Knowde is to help the world innovate faster,” said Ali Amin-Javaheri, co-founder and chief executive officer. “We’re not an ingredient library or a supplier database. Those are 20-year-old platforms and have been in the market for a long time. From our perspective, that’s kind of dated now. The needs of buyers and suppliers have changed dramatically.”
Knowde initially launched to connect buyers and suppliers in the personal care industry. As the platform has gained traction, Mr. Amin-Javaheri said the move into food and nutrition was a natural next step. Companies of all sizes are using the site to discover and compare options, engage with suppliers, request samples and purchase all ingredients of a formulation, promising to shorten product development cycles, he said.
“When you’re an R&D person, it doesn’t matter if you work for Unilever or if you work for a small brand; you have a lot of the same pain,” Mr. Amin-Javaheri said. “The market is fairly opaque. It’s hard to find the right ingredient. It’s hard to know which expert at the supplier is the best to talk to or ask questions.”
Knowde offers a number of benefits for suppliers, too, Mr. Amin-Javaheri said, citing access to targeted digital marketing and social media campaigns as well as analytics to track key performance indicators, including sales leads generated by the program.
“In the field sales world, you interact with a couple customers a day,” he said. “In the online world, you can interact with 500 customers a day.”
The suspension of trade shows due to the pandemic has contributed to the need for a more efficient solution, he said.
“So many other industries are finding new ways to grow and interact with customers that are so much more productive,” he said. “I’ve been in this space for 20 years. Up until 2015, not a single chemical or ingredient supplier had hired a chief digital officer. It wasn’t front of mind. Up until maybe eight years ago most suppliers didn’t even put their product catalog online.”
Roquette, which has US headquarters in Geneva, Ill., announced the launch of its digital storefront on Knowde last year. The company sells a range of ingredients on the site, including fibers, plant proteins, specialty starches and more.
“Our customers are already using digital platforms, and we recognize that it’s important for us to meet them where they are in the marketplace,” said Jack Koberstine, head of sales, Food GBU Americas, Roquette. “Knowde is uniquely positioned to help us achieve this. With our Knowde storefront, our plant-based ingredients are easily accessible to food and beverage innovators.”
Givaudan, the Vernier, Switzerland-based global supplier of flavors and fragrances, recently opened a storefront on the platform.
“Customers and innovation are at the heart of our business, and we want to leverage opportunities to help their brands keep their innovation pace in a very dynamic market,” said Fernando Miquelarena, head of North America for Givaudan Taste & Wellbeing. “We are adapting our business model to meet the growing interest of our customers who want an online product selection and buying experience, and our partnership with Knowde will play a key role in this strategy.”
Producers who are interested in launching a Knowde storefront may contact chief commercial officer Dan Haas at email@example.com.