Our history starts a few years before the company was formally founded. Our founder, Lucy Dahlgren, was working as a project manager in China. Her assignment was to lead the construction of factories for the refinement of steviol glycosides.
Professor Yan Li, Lucy’s father, the dean at the institution for food science and technology at the Jinan University in China. He was not keen on the idea, he thought that the already hundreds of stevia refineries in China were sufficient. He meant that the breakthrough of stevia as a sweetener was not about the production capacity but more a question of innovation and the development of products with steviol glycosides. An opinion shared by professor Jan Geuns at the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium
Lucy Dahlgren was won over by the professors Yan Li and Jan Geuns. With the support of the Chinese ministry of agriculture and China’s chamber of commerce, and after first discussions with some of the leading chinese stevia growers and refineries, she founded Bayn Europe AB in 2009, together with Lennart Holmström who has a background as a CEO in the construction sector.
Bayn Europe was founded in order to offer the European food and beverage industry both products and knowledge to reduce sugar. The main ingredient was steviol glycosides.
However, in 2009 steviol glycosides were not yet approved in the EU.
During the first years Bayn was an active member in Eustas, the European stevia organisation, working to approve steviol glycosides as an ingredient in food. Already in 2007 Eustas had submitted an application to the European authority for food safety; EFSA. The application was based on Professor Jan Geuns’ database of more than 20 years of research about stevia.
Meanwhile we waited took the opportunity to secure contracts with growers and refineries in China. This way Bayn was well prepared when EFSA in the end of 2011 finally approved steviol glycosides as a sweetening substance. Soon thereafter we signed a distribution agreement with Barentz International — one of the world’s leading distributors to the food and beverage industry. This was the first proof that we were on the right track.
We also made sure to register our trademark EUREBA®. The name is a play on words. EU is of course the European Union, REBA is an abbreviation of Rebaudioside A, the most often used steviol glycoside. But as often when abbreviations are used as a name, it should not be taken literally. Eureba is so much more than just steviol glycosides.
If the first years was all about waiting for the right moment, the following three years was breaking ground and sowing seeds in a fresh market. We delivered steviol glycosides in small volumes to buyers who wanted to try it. We helped our customers to develop recipes with the desired taste profile and texture. And we developed generic recipes for a number of application areas. Our products, sold under the name Eureba, were well received:
Bayn was ranked as one of our top three suppliers in terms of their product quality, price and their services – Heinz Company (amerikanskt livsmedelsföretag)
We have tested more than 20 competitive products, Eureba was by far the best Mulder (müsliföretag i Belgien)
Eureba has the purest taste so that we do not need any masking agent, thus we reduced the costs Zbyszko (dryckesföretag i Polen)
We have tested more than 100 different deliveries of stevia, the result shown that Bayn’s product Eureba has the best quality Professor Jan Geuns
And to top it off, we signed another agreement with yet another large distributor in the food and beverage industry: R2 Group (now a part of Caldic).
On the back of this overwhelming positive response we decided to grow. For that venture capital was needed. This is why we listed our share on Nasdaq First North, now Nasdaq First North Growth Market.
During the following three years (2015−2017) we built the main part of the organisation we have today. From three employees we grew to eight, created an innovation centre in Gävle (Bayn Studio) and started a reorganisation; from a research driven company to a market driven one.
We refined the brand EUREBA®. Today it stands for total solutions that replace sugar 1:1. These are aimed at all food and beverage companies, from the small to the medium sized, to the large, who want to reduce sugar with a simple solution and without having to run an advanced product development inhouse.
And we registered NAVIA®. It is our brand for functional ingredients from natural sources, that add e.g. sweetness and aroma. The products are aimed at large food and beverage companies with their own capacity for product development, but who wish to buy raw material and ingredients of high quality at an advantageous price.
In 2018, after nine years of hard work, we were ready to step it up even further. Patrik Edström took over the role of CEO after the founder Lucy Dahlgren who now took a seat on the Board of Directors. At the same time Gunnar Ek, the legendary figurehead of Aktiespararna, the Swedish Shareholders’ Association, also joined the Board. We started work on getting ISO certified. The certification means that we will continually improve and adjust the business to meet our customers’ expectations. And a thorough market and sales activity was put in place under the management of Mats Källqvist.
And our story continues…