Customers know their food has story

Customers know that their food has a story

4:44 AM, 3rd October 2016
Customers know that their food has a story
Gautam Grover, president, flavours at Sensient Flavors.

In an interview, Gautam Grover, president, flavours at Sensient Flavors with Chemical Today magazine talks at length about how customers have become an integral part of the entire food industry by driving the trends and deciding on what goes inside a food packet.

By Shivani Mody

Tell us about Sensient flavours group?

A flavour partner for some of the most beloved brands in the market, Sensient offers a full suite of product development services including customised flavours, applications expertise, clean-label taste solutions, market insights and cutting-edge technologies enabling our customers to deliver in-demand products.

What are the company’s future growth and expansion plans?

As a leading flavour company, Sensient’s growth depends on our ability to build lasting relationships and find new ways to become a better design partner to food and beverage manufacturers. To this end, we continue to invest in areas which make sense for our customers. For example, we have just opened a new customer centre called “Inspire” in France. This will act as an extension of our customers’ design team.

Also, a pillar of our identity is a “No Compromises” approach to the safety and quality of our product and our people. This fundamental principle is ingrained in every one of our employees and is the core to how we conduct business.

What are the recent trends in the flavours market?

Today’s consumers are becoming more experimental and hence the products are becoming more experiential. They know their food has a story and it is an important part of the purchasing decision. It is necessary for food & beverage producers to really provide an engaging experience with products.

A more educated consumer, combined with increasing regulation, is driving a close look at products and ingredient labels. Technologies around taste modification can help to deliver the nutrition, ingredient statement and flavour that the informed consumers require. New definitions of “clean label” are driving growth in our natural and organic segments as well. Legislation is becoming more prevalent as well, for example, the sugar tax proposed in the UK and other markets for which we have made sugar reduction technologies an important part of our flavour portfolio.

Which sectors in the flavours market have growth potential in emerging regions, mainly Asia Pacific and South East countries?

We see potential across the board in emerging economies, but not limited to Asia and Latin America. Increasingly, we are finding that customers in these markets are demanding the same, or in some cases, higher standards than the developed economies. Mexico, for example, introduced a sugar tax for soft drinks in 2014. In Asia, increasing standards for food as well as an increasingly affluent population are driving demand for flavours. We have recently opened a new R&D centre in Singapore that will bring all our flavour, colour and applications technologies together for our customers in Asia.

How is Sensient adopting natural ingredients in its processes?

‘Natural’ is a big area of focus for Sensient. Our portfolio is seeing huge growth in this area. Our flavourists and application teams have strong natural flavour capabilities and can design based on brand/ region/industry-specific definitions of natural. We are backwards integrated in some segments - our California-based Natural Ingredients business gives us a great advantage in this respect.

Tell us about the R&D and innovation activities happening at Sensient?

Our expertise in ‘natural’ has provided us great agility in creating flavours that are truly unique. Today’s consumers often look for something that is less traditional or more nuanced than previous generations of flavours and we are able to give that to them. We devote a lot of resources towards developing the best flavour profiles on the market. In addition, we focus heavily on the trends of eating healthy and natural.

How does Sensient adhere to being green in its processes?

Consumers are more than ever concerned with the environmental, economic, and social impact of their products. As a supplier partner, we want to add value for our customers by delivering products that uphold these values. For instance, our Turlock facility which produces raw materials, reuses 100 percent of our food processing by-products as soil amendments to support future crops and 100 percent of rinse water is reused to irrigate crops. This facility also employs dedicated research personnel to move the dial on efficiencies in areas like seed strain & harvesting technology.

We actively pursue opportunities to reduce our carbon footprint in the office through initiatives such as natural light whenever possible, water-efficient plumbing fixtures, & proprietary heat recovery systems. Our plants are also certified through ethical manufacturing audits, which is another way we can positively impact our manufacturing system.

© Chemical Today Magazine

See the Interview Coverage in Chemical Today magazine (Pg 34) 

View the interview on Mobile, download the Chemical Today magazine app



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