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About IPS-Ingredis

Sourced with the utmost care to ensure the best product profile for your goods. Supplied by a team focused on the optimal way to get you what you need, quickly and reliably. We help you secure quality ingredients in a cost-optimized way. From anywhere around the world.

Headquartered in the Swiss canton of Zug, IPS-Ingredis is part of the IPS Group.

IPS-Ingredis CEO Patrick Schaerrer shares his vision to digitize and globalize the food and beverage ingredients business.

16 Jul 2019

IPS-Ingredis is one of very few companies that understands the whole food and beverage business from seed to pallet, sourcing from 160 suppliers in 37 countries and selling to more than 300 customers across 43 countries. Supported by an international team of trading experts from 36 countries, speaking 38 languages, IPS-Ingredis has specialized knowledge in both the products and countries it sources from and delivers to.

Focused on the consumer’s evolving needs on health and priorities on impact to the environment, IPS-Ingredis is driving the innovations to enable change in the industry. With the launch of its digital platform, the company is bringing transparency, accountability and self-enablement to all people involved in the buying and selling of soft commodities, from anywhere in the world. “So far our digital platform has the greatest reachthere are no limitations from where we can source from and sell toand with the investments that we have secured for the business to integrate new technologies and enhance platform capabilities, it will continue to be by far.” stated Patrick Schaerrer, CEO.

He further added: “We know that in 10 to 15 years everything will be digitized, so it’s not a question of if we are right to build a platform today, but whether we are too early. Regardless, we are committed to ensuring that we stay ahead of the customer’s demands.

IPS-Ingredis DSP

IPS-Ingredis is digitalizing and globalizing soft-commodity trade through their online platform

Borne out of necessity

Originally operating as a division within Integrated Packaging Systems (IPS), which delivers turnkey machine solutions for the food and beverage processing and packaging industry. “We had a great understanding of our customer’s machinery needswhich helped us to build deep relationships in key markets across Asia and Africa,” explained Mr. Schaerrer.

“We supplied the machines that produced the finished products for consumers, and the advisory on how to expand and optimize. But then our customers also needed the raw materials used in the production process.” With established trust and a growing demand for sourcing ingredients, IPS-Ingredis was spun out and established as a stand-alone brand focused on this part of the food and beverage production lifecycle. “It became very clear that machinery and raw materials were two different elements, and in day-to-day operations we needed a dedicated raw materials sales team supported by specialized trade expertise, which we built up over the last years.”

IPS-Ingredis started trading with a focus on flavors in partnership with Takasagothe fifth largest flavor house in the worldand has grown to a current portfolio of more than 200 ingredients across six main categories: fruits and vegetables; dairy; food additives; fats and oils; nuts, seeds, and pulses; sugars and sweeteners.

“In 2017, we had sales turnover of $105 million, and we have had consistent growth of 15-20% over the last five years, with growing market potential in the Americas,” added Mr. Schaerrer. Today, IPS-Ingredis forms part of the IPS Group, which focuses on providing an integrated offering of services for the complete lifecycle of the food and beverage production industry.


IPS-Ingredis CEO, Patrick Schaerrer

Innovating to serve

Raw materials trade involves building the right supplier relationships to source quality ingredients, at the best price – and deliver these goods from seller to buyer. What sets IPS-Ingredis apart is the manner in which the company delivers this to its customers. The IPS-Ingredis digital platform is supported by a team of international trade experts, who know the products and markets they source from – ensuring that buyers are always purchasing from a trusted, certified and reliable source from anywhere in the world. Through regular quality control checks and measures, IPS-Ingredis brings only the best ingredients to its platform, with full technical specifications available online, 24/7. “If you are looking for raw materials and manufacturers, they are very hard to find, and in my time as a sourcing specialist I never had a place where I could go and actually find the different products I was looking for, along with accurate technical specification sheets,” added Mr Schaerrer.

The platform innovation helps buyers to extend their reach to source any ingredient, from anywhere in the world, right from their desktop or mobile device – with all the information needed to make the right buying decisions. And it’s not just limited to traditional ingredients like pineapple juice concentrate (sourced from South East Asia) or peach puree (sourced from Europe). IPS-Ingredis is also heavily invested in ingredient innovation, having just launched its Innovation Kitchen which finds specialty ingredients that are more sustainable – like protein alternatives – and creating recipe formulations that focus on integrating plant-based derivatives for health benefits. “It’s really about discovering new worlds, meeting your suppliers, developing products with them and for them, introducing new, innovative ingredients that aren’t in the market yet,” explained the CEO. Consumers are becoming more aware of the impact that their food has on their health, and their environment – with natural, clean and GMO-free labels driving purchasing decisions. However, the active role of consumers is not only in purchasing – but also in investing in what they consume.

IPS-Ingredis negotiated a partnership with crowd-funding platforms in Switzerland, financing over $6 million-worth of raw material transactions through its platform over the past year and a half. “Initiatives like crowd funding allow the everyday person to participate in the profit of the finished products which they are actually buying and consuming, and which they believe in 100%,” said Mr Schaerrer.

Food sourcing evolution

As awareness of the impacts of ingredient sourcing on the environment grows, consumers will demand more sustainable alternatives. IPS-Ingredis has realized that the carbon footprint of where its finished products come from is an emerging area of focus for consumers. Mr Schaerrer explained: “If someone asks, ‘how much water was consumed in the production of one tonne of pineapple concentrate’, or ‘what was the yield of that hectare,’ any of us in this industry should be able to capture and process this in our sourcing supply chain. And that is the system we are setting up.” With a Swiss partnership, IPS-Ingredis will soon launch a service to identify the carbon footprint from farm to container and then tokenize this data to be offset with a carbon credit.

“People are realizing that our bodies are an extension of the world we live in, and they want to know what effect their actions are having on the Earth,” he said. “If I’m at a global fast food chain and I see the actual cost of a burger to society versus the monetary cost to me, I might alter my purchasing pattern. Just like this, the forces for change are becoming stronger and companies must adapt. It’s our job to ensure that we bring the ingredients from the right place, at the right quality, following the right standards."

Digital sourcing revolution

In leading the industry towards a greener future, IPS-Ingredis is actively developing digital tools to improve its processes and provide greater transparency in an otherwise opaque market segment, promoting efficiency and innovation in the trade of soft commodities. “Your sourcing manager, sitting any where in the world, can immediately get an indicative price and technical specifications on the ingredient they need and submit a request for quote without waiting for a sales person,” stated Mr. Schaerrer. "You can accurately track your order vessel, without asking our logistics coordinators, and can also download all your contractual documents and submit your payment confirmation.

“This level of transparency at every stage of your transaction, combined with the efficiency of a marketplace format, is vital to the accountability required with the multiple stakeholders involved in a globally sourced product.” What takes days to process can now be done in a matter of minutes. IPS-Ingredis sees costly international phone calls and boundless emails replaced with in-app communications and an easy-to-use interface. And stacks of signed contracts and documents are now securely housed online and available for download.

“We are digitalbut we are also real. We have a team of 36 nationalities, who speak 38 languages across our 18 global officesaccessible by phone, email, video, or to meet for a cup of tea. We just haven't started sourcing that yet,” concluded Mr. Schaerrer.
IPS-Ingredis Digital Platform

The IPS-Ingredis Digital Platform - driving the digital revolution in food and beverage ingredient sourcing

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