The new xylitol factory strengthens Fazer's position in Lahti

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The groundbreaking event of the new xylitol factory was held on 3 May 2019 in Lahti, Finland. Fazer currently employs nearly 600 people in the region of Päijät-Häme. When the production of xylitol from oat hulls is started in autumn 2020, 30 new jobs will be created in Lahti. Circular economy is central for the new factory.

The raw material of xylitol comes directly from Fazer’s production 

Fazer has had operations in Lahti for over 60 years. The new factory will be built on Fazer's site on Kasakkamäki in Lahti, next to Fazer Mills and the Lahti bakery. The factory will be the first fully backward integrated xylitol manufacturing facility in the world. The overall size of the manufacturing facility is 4,000 square metres and it will be built by NCC Finland.

Fazer targets further expansion in Northern Europe and beyond

Fazer is investing in the development of new production technologies and solutions. Th40 million euros investment in Lahti will strengthen Fazer's position as a forerunner in grain-based products. Xylitol is produced from oat hulls, which are derived as a side stream of the oat milling process. 

“This innovation is an excellent example of circular economy. At the moment, the majority of oat hulls are used as animal feed and in energy production. We will produce xylitol with our new, patented technology. We believe that xylitol from a plant-based Nordic raw-material will spark interest not only in the Nordics, but also outside them, even globally. Around the world, the Nordic oat has a superior reputation thanks to its purity and quality,” says Christoph Vitzthum, President and CEO of Fazer Group.

Lahti is the eighth largest city in Finland. Fazer's new xylitol factory also supports Lahti’s goal of becoming the leading environmental city in Finland.

“Finland needs new innovations and exports. Circular economy is central for sustainable development and Finland’s welfare. Fazer is a forerunner. Thank you for being a part of making a change,” said the mayor of Lahti, Pekka Timonen, in the city’s welcoming speech.

The xylitol market is growing

With the new factory, Fazer brings the production of domestic xylitol back to Finland. The groundbreaking event was honoured by the presence of Kauko K. Mäkinen, Emeritus professor and the “father” of xylitol. He finds the whole factory project to be very patriotic. He compared xylitol to Jean Sibelius, Paavo Nurmi and sauna, and rejoiced its return to Finland.

As a raw material, xylitol offers healthier options and has therefore potential for product development. In addition to the food industry, xylitol can be used in the cosmetics and pharmaceutical industries, for example.  Xylitol is an important raw material for Fazer's confectionery business.

A few facts about xylitol

  • Industrial production of xylitol is a Finnish innovation.
  • In Finland, the industrial production of xylitol started in 1975.
  • The most popular xylitol products are chewing gum and pastilles.
  • Xylitol is used in the food, cosmetics and pharmaceutical industries.
  • Xylitol is a sweetener produced from xylose. Xylose is found in various plants and trees, such as birch, beech, corn and berries.
  • Xylitol is low in calories (60% of the calories in sugar) but as sweet as sugar.
  • Xylitol has an approved EFSA (European Food Safety Authority) health claim.
  • The daily use of xylitol is globally recommended by many dental associations to reduce the risk of caries.
  • Fazer is the only domestic xylitol chewing gum manufacturer in Finland.

Further information:

Anna Nicol, Vice President, Xylitol Venture, , tel. +358 50 383 7735

Taina Lampela-Helin, Communications Manager, Fazer Group,, tel. +358 40 668 4600

The Fazer media phone line is open Mon–Fri from 8 am to 4 pm, tel. +358 40 668 2998, 

Fazer Group

In 1891, the young Karl Fazer opened his first café with a mission to make food with a purpose – and a passion to create moments of joy for all the people around him. It became Northern Magic. Made Real. Today, Fazer is an international family-owned company offering quality bakery, confectionery, biscuit and grain products, plant-based meals, non-dairy products, on-the-go food & drinks as well as food and café services. The Group operates in nine countries and exports to around 40 countries. The success of Fazer has been built on Karl Fazer’s vision, values and fearless creativity: the best product and service quality, beloved brands, the passion of skilful people and responsible ways of working. In 2018, Fazer Group had net sales of 1.6 billion euros and more than 15,000 employees. Fazer’s operations comply with ethical principles that are based on the Group’s values and the UN Global Compact.

Northern Magic. Made Real.