Company initiatives, Press Release

Solazyme changes name, abandons commodity chems and biofuel

It should not come as a shock that Solazyme is now fully rebranding itself as a food and nutrition ingredients producer after recent announcements of production restructuring and layoffs.

The company released a statement today that it has renamed itself as “TerraVia” and will now exclusively focus on food, nutrition and specialty ingredients using its algae innovation platform. These markets are more high-value, low volume areas compared to lipids-based commodity chemicals and fuel.

TerraVia’s portfolio of ingredients and products will include:

  • Specialty Food Ingredients, including the AlgaVia® Whole Algae ingredients (lipid rich powder and protein) and AlgaWise™ Algae Oils (cooking and high stability oils). Each of these products has obtained key regulatory clearances and have been incorporated into products by established food companies such as Hormel and Utz, as well as by leading edge, plant-based food companies such as Enjoy Life, So Delicious, Soylent and Follow Your Heart during the past six to nine months.
  • Consumer Food Products, where the Company will leverage its unique ingredients to incubate select consumer brands, including Thrive® Culinary Algae Oil.
  • Animal Nutrition Ingredients, a new area for the Company, where initial products and partnerships will be announced soon.
  • Specialty Personal Care Ingredients, including AlgaPur Oils, which are marketed and sold alongside food ingredients and where the Company has major customers including Unilever.

The company is working on a financing round of around $28 million to be funded by several investors and entrepreneurs in food, nutrition and innovation. CEO Jonathan Wolfson will also step down and will assume the full-time role of Executive Chairman as soon as a new CEO will take over.

What happened to its industrial products portfolio?

TerraVia has moved most of it (including fuels, industrial oils and the Encapso business) to a business unit called Solazyme Industrials, which will probably be sold off. The company is pursuing strategic alternatives for this portfolio over the next 12-18 months. With the current low oil price, this portfolio is probably ripe for the picking.

I will write more analysis on the company’s industrial portfolio on this month’s Tecnon OrbiChem Bio-Materials newsletter.

Solazyme Stock

About Doris de Guzman

Will Green Chemistry save the world or is it hype? Doris de Guzman examines alternative processing, new technology, R&D and other sustainability initiatives aimed at preventing pollution; replacing ingredients; and using renewable feedstocks in Green Chemistry. She has been covering the oleochemicals market for 15 years and spread her beat to inorganics, biofuels and green chemistry.


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