Benecol® was created in Finland in 1995. Initially, the brand was created as part of a major initiative to lower the levels of cholesterol in the public. The brand was even described as being the “pearl in the crown” by Finland’s Director General Prof. Pekka Puska.
Because the Benecol® brand was highly successful in Finland, its creators decided to launch it in Ireland and the UK. This international expansion was implemented in 1999. Ever since the brand was launched, it has become widely popular in Finland, Ireland, and in the UK. Today, the brand’s owner, Raisio Group has licensed some food companies, like McNeil Nutritionals, to market Benecol® products in different countries.
What makes Benecol® products unique and popular is the cholesterol reducing benefit that it offers consumers. Benecol® products contain plant stanols, which is responsible for the lowering of cholesterol in the body. It has also been found that more and more consumers find Benecol® products as a dietary cost-effective method in reducing their cholesterol levels. In order to obtain the best results, the company suggests to eat Benecol® foods along with one main meal, and also with 5 portions of vegetables and fruits everyday.
The first product under the Benecol® brand was a low-cholesterol spread. Ever since the brand’s creation in 1995, the Benecol® range has expanded to include yogurt, yogurt drinks, and cream cheese.
For the brand’s yogurt drinks, each bottle contains a minimum of 2 grams of plant stanols, a cholesterol-lowering substance. The yogurt drinks are sold in a number of flavours, and also includes a soya and a dairy-free variety. The Benecol® range of spreads contains 32% fat, with canola (rapeseed) oil as the source. Newer varieties of Benecol® spreads in the UK include Light Spread (a fat content of 35%), Olive Spread (a fat content of 55%) and Buttery-taste Spread (a fat content of 63%). Benecol® yogurts are sold in a variety of flavours. In Ireland and in the UK, a serving of Benecol® yogurt has 0.8 grams of plant stanols. Outside of these countries, one Benecol® yogurt contains 2 grams of stanols. Twenty grams of Benecol® Cream Cheese contains 0.8 grams of plant stanols.
Headquarters: Buckinghamshire, UK
Ownership Type: private
Employees: information not available
Demography: health-conscious consumers