12:25 ET(16:25 GMT) December 25, 2015
(CNNExpansión) — Working just in time is the motto of Enrique Bojórquez, founder of Sucroliq, a Mexican company that developed a liquid sugar patent more than 10 years ago.
Today, his company supplies this input to transnational beverage, dairy and cereal companies, among others.
The key has been to adapt to the needs of each client. Sucroliq can produce liquid sugar at different degrees of refining. In addition, it allows you to use your infrastructure to deliver ready-to-package products and save the customer up to 12% on inventory costs.
The entrepreneur took advantage of the infrastructure of Coprobamex —one of the main sugar traders in Mexico, a company of which he was a director— to research and develop liquid sugar.
Since the 1990s, Bojórquez knew of the interest of food and beverage companies in the use of liquid sugar, but he was not able to materialize his idea until 2002. That year, the Congress of the Union approved a 20% tax for the fructose, a liquid corn sweetener to sweeten foods.
“The new tax was unaffordable for producers,” says Jorge Pacheco Vela, CEO of Zafranet, a consulting firm specializing in the sugar industry. In addition, the plants’ machinery and industrial processes were adequate to use liquid and not powder, he adds.
The first clients were Lala, Jugos del Valle and Jumex, in 2003. He served them through Coprobamex. The growth in sales of liquid sugar gave rise to the creation of Sucroliq as an independent company in 2009.
Sucroliq reduced its clients’ costs by up to 12%. Another of the savings that the use of liquid sugar entails is in terms of energy costs, explains Javier Alonso, leader of Agroindustry at the PwC consultancy. “They no longer need to dissolve sweeteners from their production processes.”
However, despite being the only supplier of liquid sugar in Mexico, Sucroliq faces two major barriers to growth in the sugar market, estimated at 2.5 million dollars. On the one hand, there is culture, because “companies are not interested in looking at liquid sugar,” says Pacheco Vela. “They would need to modify their industrial processes to replace regular sugar with liquid sugar.”
The other obstacle is the importation of fructose from the United States. “It is up to 10% cheaper than liquid sugar and accounts for 24% of the demand for sweeteners in the country,” explains Luis Ramiro García Chávez, a researcher at the Universidad Autónoma Chapingo, in a study.
Today, the company has three plants, two in the State of Mexico and one in Nuevo León. At the end of the year, Sucroliq will open two more plants: one in Argentina and the other in the Caribbean.
Enrique Bojorquez (53 years old)
Company name: SUCROLIQ
Sales 2014: 625 million pesos
How you earn money
Sucroliq patented liquid sugar. Its clients are food and beverage companies, to which it offers to vary the temperature, color and concentration.
Challenge: The soft drink companies found variants in the flavor of Sucroliq’s liquid sugar.
Solution: Bojórquez sought help from the Center for Research and Assistance in Technology and Design of the State of Jalisco. There he discovered that the difference was due to the minerals in the water of each place. By demineralizing the water before making liquid sugar, there are no longer changes in taste.