Taste, Texture & Health
The year in review

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Reporting period

The Business Reviews include information from the combined entity for 12 months, which includes Firmenich as of 1 January 2023 (pro forma, see Concepts and ratios). It also includes information that is presented in accordance with IFRS, which includes Firmenich from the merger date onwards – whenever this is used this is specifically indicated.

Excellence in Flavor Science Award for Eric Frérot

Eric Frérot, one of our Distinguished Scientists, received the Excellence in Flavor Science Award from the Flavor Extract Manufacturers’ Association (FEMA). This is awarded to specialists who have made an exceptional contribution to flavor science – so it is an outstanding achievement, and a testament to our world-class Science & Research team.

Accelerating execution of our revenue synergies

Marketing & Sales and application colleagues were empowered to deliver our growth synergies through a series of joint regional summits. Organized in every region between June and August, these summits brought together the sales and technical teams from Ingredient Solutions and Taste to explore our combined capabilities and kick-start action on high-priority revenue synergy opportunities. They provided inspiration to bring exciting new joint food and beverage concepts to the market and resulted in a strong pipeline of commercial opportunities and concrete first customer wins by the end of 2023.

Integrating our operations

In 2023, we defined the new operating models for the integrated operations and supply chain organizations that will help us shape the future. With the combined organization, we now have more than 40 manufacturing locations around the world, allowing us to be close to our customers and regional markets wherever they are. We have successfully maintained our focus on business continuity and are proud that in a year of transformation, we have seen no major disruptions in our delivery to customers.

Continued investment in our facilities

In Europe, we began the construction of our new TTH headquarters and application labs at the Biotech Campus in Delft (Netherlands). This building will replace the current offices and facilities in Delft and will feature leading-edge facilities for food application development, especially for co-creation with our customers – including a demonstration kitchen and a sensory room, as well as collaborative office spaces. The building will be energy-efficient and will meet the highest sustainability standards, BREAAM Outstanding, for its entire life-cycle. The building also meets the highest level for certification, WELL Platinum, for buildings that promote occupant well-being.

We also opened a new pilot facility in Plainsboro (New Jersey, USA), which offers a full range of capabilities and equipment to help customers scale up production of new foods and beverages. This facility is designed to create small-scale application samples for product innovation across all product categories, including beverage, nutrition and sweet goods. The facility focuses on scaling up liquid products such as milk, ice cream and yogurt, both dairy and plant-based, and provides customers with consumer sensory laboratories, a focus group room, and a conference room with a direct view of the facility.

Within the framework of our plant-based platform, we opened an extrusion test center in Tau (Norway) to work on dry texturized proteins, high-moisture extruded proteins and concentrated process flavors. The creation of this new facility will help in our ambition to become a leading provider of integrated solutions for delicious and nutritious meat and fish alternatives.

Completed full ownership of VKL Seasoning

After former Firmenich acquired a majority stake in VKL Seasoning Pvt Ltd. in April 2019, it completed full ownership of the Indian company in April 2023. Founded in 1996, VKL is the market leader in spices and flavors in India. The company is known for its strong understanding of flavors and leading reputation among Indian customers. VKL helps us further expand our seasoning capabilities and customer reach in India, while expanding our raw material palette for clean label ingredients.

Leading in sustainability: EcoFood Compass® for taste

Our taste EcoFood Compass®, a proprietary, integrated, online science-based impact measurement tool, evolved during 2023 from a pilot project to a sustainable enterprise solution. This tool – containing the carbon footprint data of our solutions – allows customers to calculate, monitor and measure the social and environmental impact of our taste solutions on the environmental footprint of their products. While more and more of our taste palette is already covered by the taste EcoFood Compass®, we aim to cover 100% of our offering by 2025.

We continue to see significant and growing interest on the part of our customers in understanding the impact of the ingredient or flavor in their products, as they aim to reduce Scope 3 emissions on their own net-zero journey. We are determined to satisfy this interest through our services and value propositions.

Maxilact® Next

In early June, we launched Maxilact® Next, the fastest-acting lactase enzyme on the market, to enable lactose-free dairy products to be produced more efficiently and sustainably. By optimizing production processes such as yield and throughput time, we help customers to effectively manage both unit costs and carbon footprint. We also continued to make good progress in developing comprehensive information such as carbon footprint statements and Environmental Product Declarations.

Banana Bread

In May, one of China’s well-known bakery brands launched its latest product: Banana Bread with Filling. The uniqueness of Banana Bread with Filling lies in the use of our BakeZyme® enzymes and β-carotenes. BakeZyme® enzymes help to eliminate the problem of dense or dry baked goods and provide a soft bite. β-carotenes, meanwhile, give the bread its attractive natural color, making the product more visually enticing to consumers in search of both taste and aesthetics, resulting in a delicious product.

Peach+ announced as forthcoming Flavor of the Year

In December, we announced Peach+ as the Flavor of the Year for 2024. With the Flavor of the Year, we celebrate consumers’ desire for exciting new ingredients and bold, adventurous flavor creation. Peach+ was inspired by emerging signals in the cultural and consumer landscape and a wide variety of influences, including culinary, fashion, design, and art.

The Flavor of the Year empowers our customers to be leaders in global trends. Peach+ is an invitation to our customers to innovate with this flavor, to transcend its traditional juicy-sweet aspects and also incorporate softer, smoother, lighter, more refreshing textural elements.

This marks our 12th Flavor of the Year, which is something our customers have come to look forward to annually. The year 2024 will be the third consecutive year of a sensory partnership with Pantone®, the global color authority and provider of professional color language standards and digital solutions for the design community. Peach+ is a companion to Peach Fuzz 13-1023, Pantone®’s 2024 Color of the Year.

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