- Israel-based sugar reduction company DouxMatok hired its first outside CEO this week. Ari Melamud, former CEO of cosmetics ingredients company Sharon Laboratories and Israel and Turkey CEO at CPG giant Kimberly-Clark, is taking the helm of the sweetener company.
- Former CEO Eran Baniel, who founded DouxMatok with his father Avraham Baniel in 2014, is transitioning to an executive chairman role. He will continue to support the company, a release states.
- DouxMatok’s signature ingredient, Incredo Sugar, is derived from conventional sugar. However, about 40% less of Incredo Sugar is needed to create the same sweet taste. The company launched its first U.S. product in April, and the company says products from other manufacturers featuring the ingredient are likely to launch in North America at the end of this year or the beginning of 2022.
As DouxMatok’s Incredo Sugar moves beyond the R&D phase and on its way into products, the company is bringing in a leader with experience in brand building, marketing and company growth. And even though Melamud has no direct experience with food or ingredients, he knows important aspects of several adjacent businesses.
“Our disruptive solution can successfully address the global challenge of overconsumption of sugar, and I’m eager to lead the company into this phase of global expansion,” Melamud said in the release announcing his hire.
Melamud has a long track record of working in the consumer goods and marketing space. During the nearly four years he was at Sharon Laboratories, he drove a new strategic growth plan, which resulted in sales doubling. Part of this strategic growth came from partnerships. Sharon Laboratories produces preservatives for cosmetics, and the company entered into agreements with personal care companies Deinove and Azelis under Melamud’s leadership. These agreements broadened Sharon’s reach into different markets, as well as brought new opportunities to highlight the company’s preservatives.
Before he was at Sharon Laboratories, Melamud spent more than four years as CEO of the Israel office for international marketing company Publicis. He led the company through years of great expansion, during which Publicis reportedly became the country’s leading marketing firm and handled campaigns for a number of prominent clients.
He also spent 10 years at Kimberly-Clark, working with many of the CPG giant’s personal care brands. According to his LinkedIn, he began as vice president of personal care in Israel, and became the CEO of the Israel and Turkey division in 2009.
As Incredo Sugar is ready to launch in products worldwide, a CEO with deep experience in partnerships could be invaluable. While DouxMatok’s Incredo Spreads were produced by the company, leaders said in April they have no intention of creating more products on their own. Instead, the spreads are meant to build awareness for the ingredient.
With a unique ingredient like Incredo Sugar, exclusive partnerships with manufacturers could help both companies. Incredo Sugar is a sweetener that tastes exactly like sugar — helping it avoid a key consumer complaint about other alternatives — but because less of it is needed, it’s a bit tricky to formulate with. A partnership can create products that are designed for Incredo Sugar, as well as give a manufacturer a line of sweetened products that taste more like what consumers expect.
Getting the message out about Incredo Sugar is also fairly important, and DouxMatok will benefit from having a seasoned marketer at its helm. Incredo has already been branded as “Real Happy Sugar,” a tagline that appears prominently on the company’s spreads. Because Incredo Sugar has less of the bulking ability of conventional sugar, DouxMatok adds fiber to products, which increases the nutritional value. Explaining this somewhat complex origin in a way that consumers understand, and branding Incredo so that consumers recognize it on a label, can help DouxMatok moving forward.
It’s a critical point for the company, which has manufacturing partnerships in both Europe and North America. With consumers turning away from traditional sugar, alternatives that can deliver health benefits are primed for success. A leader who can help DouxMatok take advantage of current consumer needs and work with manufacturers can cement the company’s long-term success potential.