global food industry

The Food Contract Lab Business Approaches 50

The third in our series of blog posts discussing the importance of food contract labs (FCLs) to the food safety testing market, this week we look at the evolution of the FCL market over the last 50 years.

Food contract labs were started by entrepreneurial scientists beginning in the late 1960s. The early FCL entrepreneurs often had areas of specialization, and set up independent laboratories to provide food company clients with services and analyses in those areas (mainly microbiology).

Over time, some of these labs grew into regional, and even national, networks of labs. Deibel and Silliker Labs are prime examples of FCLs that followed this path in the 1970s and ‘80s, and into the early ‘90s.

food contract lab, Silliker, Deibel, SGS, Eurofins

As 2000 approached, the FCL industry was undergoing major changes:

  • With financial support from their new owner, Merieux Alliance, Silliker undertook an aggressive, international growth-by-acquisition initiative.
  • IEH Laboratories began its extensive growth, principally through acquisitions of independent U.S. labs.
  • With its public listing in 1997, Eurofins embarked on an impressive growth spurt, also fueled mainly by acquisitions, that now totals 190 labs.
  • SGS began to expand into the food contract lab space, becoming a major player in the field.

TIC Companies Enter the Food Contract Lab Market

It is also worth mentioning that over the last ten years, more and more TIC (Testing, Inspection, Certification) companies are entering the FCL market. What was originally a business based on food safety expertise is evolving into one more tightly tied to the broader testing, inspection, and certification market.

Testing Inspection Certification Company, SCS, Bureau Veritas, Dekra, TUV, DNV,Germanisher Lloyd

The global TIC industry is huge, with revenues of more than $120 billion in 2010. TIC companies started over 300 years ago to provide common measurements for shipping and other commercial activities. Today the TIC industry is growing worldwide, but particularly in the emerging economies of Asia and South America, spurred by a combination of regulatory and economic factors. One key driver is increased global trade and a resulting consumer demand for improved food quality and safety. As a result, leading food manufacturers are requiring third party inspections and certifications of products and services.

Like the food contract lab market, the TIC market also is consolidating, and over the past five years there have been significant and sizable acquisitions. The ten leading TIC companies represent only 37% of the global market, but all are billion-dollar companies with tens of thousands of employees and more than 1,000 locations globally. In addition, all of these companies occupy market-leading positions in both emerging and developed economies. Most of the top-10 companies provide testing, inspection, verification, audit, accreditation and consulting services, and attempt to manage global supply chains and reduce operational, product and market risks to clients. In other words, these TIC companies have strong existing relationships with all the global food companies.

These strong, multi-faceted relationships are powerful springboards for the TIC companies in the food contract lab market—and NOT something that the traditional FCL companies have to offer. Thus TIC companies have some unique advantages over other FCLs (e.g., bundled pricing and multiple international contact points), even the more global traditional FCLs. As of now, at least four of the top-10 TIC companies are in the FCL business, and two of them (SGS and Eurofins) are among the top-3 global FCL companies based on 2013 revenue estimates.

It is hard to forecast what’s next for the food contract lab market. Given current trends and drivers, the market clearly will continue to grow and take share. Not as clear is which companies will be the dominant FCL companies five years from now.

In our next blog: What does the boom in FCLs mean for food safety diagnostics companies?


For example you can buy medications that fights bacterial infections. These medicaments will not treat several infection such as the common cold. Some pharmacies offer to their consumers Viagra. Possibly you know about price of viagra or viagra price. Medicines, like Viagra, sure, is going to change your life. Also known as impotence is defined as the failure to maintain an erection suitable for intercourse. Currently for men of any age, it can be an early warning symptom for earnest illnesses, so it’s essential for your overall soundness, not just your sexual relationship, to see a sex therapist if you experience erection dysfunction. Why it happen? What kinds of professionals treat sexual soundness problems in men?

Tagged , , ,

Food Safety Testing Shifts to 3rd Party Contract Testing Labs

A new report from Strategic Consulting, Inc. details the growing trend in food companies to send quality and safety testing offsite to third party contract testing laboratories. The volume of food testing conducted at contract labs is growing at a faster rate than the total food testing market, and is expected to continue to do so over the next five years.

Food companies around the world increasingly rely on 3rd party contract testing laboratories for their food quality and safety testing. In 2013, worldwide revenue for food contract testing labs will exceed $3 billion, with a compound annual growth rate of 9.4%. SCI’s Food Contract Lab Report (FCLR) is the first report to examine this market segment in detail, and reviews test volumes, revenues and emerging trends in quality and safety testing conducted by third party laboratories for food companies around the world.

With the volume of food testing conducted at contract labs growing at a faster rate than the food testing market as a whole, this trend has implications for both food companies and diagnostic test manufacturers. read more…

Tagged , , , ,

Global Food Contract Testing Lab Revenues Exceed $3 Billion in 2013

Strategic Consulting is pleased to announce our first report reviewing the test volumes, revenues and trends for quality and safety testing services conducted by third party laboratories for food producers around the world.

For some time now, Strategic Consulting has been following the increasing trend at food production companies around the world to send food quality and safety testing to third party contract testing laboratories. This year in fact, total revenues for food contract test labs are estimated to reach $3.05 billion, up from $1.95 billion just five years ago, at a healthy compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.4% worldwide.

contract testing lab, food safety testing, Food Contract Lab Report

read more…

Tagged , , , ,

Food Microbiology Market Increases 40% in 5 Years to Reach $2.9 Billion in 2013

The food microbiology testing market is healthy and robust, driven by an increasingly global food supply and focus on safe food. Strategic Consulting, Inc. projects the market value of food microbiology testing worldwide to reach $2.9 billion in 2013—an increase of 40%, or $832 million, in the past five years.

A new publication from Strategic Consulting, Inc., Food Micro, Eighth Edition: Microbiology Testing in the Global Food Industry puts the 2013 market value of worldwide microbiology testing for food safety at $2.9 billion. The market value for food micro testing has increased 40%, or $832 million, in the past five years.

In total, the global food industry will conduct 966.5 million microbiology tests this year to ensure the safety of food products and detect dangerous pathogens in food. read more…

Tagged , , , , ,

Many “Niches” in the Global Food Microbiology Testing Market

Due out this month, Food Micro, Eighth Edition: Microbiology Testing in the Global Food Industry (Food Micro-8) explores differences in testing by region, food segment, organisms and company structures.

Microbiology testing by food companies around the world is on the rise. Increases are occurring in all geographic regions and across all food segments. The total volume of food microbiology testing worldwide is approaching 1 billion tests annually—an increase of about 125% since 1998.
Routine and Pathogen Food Microbiology Tests Worldwide

Numerous factors are driving the increase in food microbiology testing: read more…

Tagged , , , , ,