14/12/2022 – Ingredients / Nutrition / Health / Sustainability / Fi Europe / Givaudan
GIVAUDAN: Elevating Food Experiences
For more than 250 years, Swiss multinational Givaudan has been developing tastes and scents that delight consumers the world over. Antoine Khalil, Givaudan Taste & Wellbeing’s Regional Commercial Head for South Asia, Middle East and Africa (SAMEA), tells Food & Beverage Networker about its on-going efforts in myriad areas – including health, sustainability and plant-based offerings – to elevate future food experiences.
“The role of food has evolved from a functional need, to a craving for a memorable experience,” remarks Mr Khalil, who asserts that Givaudan Taste & Wellbeing signals transformation as an agent of change in the F&B industry. The company’s innovative ‘Food Experiences’ portfolio inspires three of Givaudan’s pillars – ‘Does Good’, ‘Feel Good’ and ‘Imagine’ – encompassing taste, sense, nutrition, health and integrated solutions, and extending across all food and beverages sectors.
Participants at this year’s Gulfood Manufacturing international F&B industry expo in Dubai will have the opportunity to visit Givaudan Taste & Wellbeing’s stand (Hall 5 / Stand: A5-28) to learn how this innovative business can enhance its customers’ capabilities to create ‘Food Experiences’ that consumers love.
Q. Givaudan Taste & Wellbeing recently exhibited at Gulfood Manufacturing 2022. What specific innovations were showcased at the event this year?
Antoine Khalil: “Givaudan goes beyond great taste to create food experiences that do good and feel good for body, mind and planet. This year’s theme of Elevating Food Experiences took centre stage at Gulfood Manufacturing across three distinct zones: ‘Feel Good’, ‘Does Good’, and ‘Imagine’.
“The ‘Feel Good’ Food Experience space offered visitors the chance to taste our succulent plant-based burgers enhanced by our new Primelock+ technology. Meanwhile, our ‘Does Good’ Food Experience presented the latest developments in botanicals and sugar-reduction solutions. The ‘Imagine’ Food Experience featured a new digital interface providing a platform for customers to work closely with our experts and co-create flavours that can be evaluated and adjusted in real time – shaping the future of F&B.”
Q. Sustainability is increasingly on the radar of consumers. How is Givaudan responding to this trend in terms of its offerings and approach?
“As the climate crisis looms and social inequalities rise, consumers are indeed more responsible and engaged, and they support businesses they believe act responsibly and address these societal challenges. They are looking for products that are produced in a way that does not cause harm to the environment.
“We recognise this as a megatrend that will present both risks and opportunities in the coming years, and it has informed our 2025 strategy.
“Givaudan’s approach: Our 2025 strategy of ‘Committed to Growth, with Purpose’ outlines our intention to deliver growth in partnership with our customers, and achieve ambitious financial targets, while also making progress on our longer-term purpose ambitions in the areas of creations, nature, people and communities. This is supported by our ongoing journey to becoming a B Corp-certified company, helping us to live up to the highest standards of being a responsible and sustainable business as we strive to be a force for good. Our certification will be the independently verified proof that we are acting on our purpose goals and successfully balancing people, the planet and profit.
“Givaudan’s offering: As for our offerings, we are offering our wide range of Citrus replacers, SunThesis. These ingredients are designed to function and taste like citrus oils – it is less susceptible to volatile market conditions.
“A global shift to plant-based diets could help to reduce food-related greenhouse gas emissions, save water and land usage, and help tackle climate-related damages. Plant-based diets are not only better for the environment; they are also efficient and good for animal welfare.”
Q. Health and wellbeing has clearly grown in importance in terms of what consumers are seeking in their food and beverage choices. How is Givaudan accommodating this trend?
“You’re absolutely right, consumer preferences in the F&B ecosystem are constantly evolving with various dietary requirements – particularly with the desire for reduced sugar intake. As the health and wellness movement becomes more nuanced, consumers look at more holistic lifestyle approaches. From shopping behaviours becoming more systematic to focusing on eliminating entire food groups. Givaudan was amongst the first to understand the urge for food reformulation, as sugar, fat and salt reduction, for example. Our technical capabilities along with our consumer and sensory insights programmes allow us to access and develop broad portfolios to deliver solutions that fulfil ever-changing needs for memorable experiences.”
Q. What other consumer trends can you identify? And how is Givaudan responding?
“Year on year, we are witnessing consumers becoming increasingly health-focused, emphasising a demand for Functionality and Natural Ingredients.
“As a response to that, and to other pressing and changing market conditions, we have recently announced our realigned portfolio to better reflect how, through our expanded product offering and capabilities, we support customers to deliver future-facing food experiences that consumers value.
Anchoring our flavour, taste, natural functional and nutritional capabilities around the concept of food experiences enables us to link what we do with the benefits that consumers expect from the food, beverages and nutraceutical products they consume.
“Second, Sustainability is progressively becoming a top agenda item in the region. Plant-based and alternative food is one of the solutions to tackle the challenges we are facing, and Givaudan globally has been leading the way on that front.”
Q. How does Givaudan support F&B manufacturers, and help them to leverage upon such trends and opportunities?
“Givaudan focuses on intrinsic areas of food evolution. It is our key offering point to our customers who are at the heart of everything we do. Trends underpin our response to innovative technologies that we offer to our customers – from healthier eating, choice of ingredients, and sustaining fundamental changes to lifestyle and diet. We offer our customers access to insightful data gathered from our consumer and sensory insights programmes spread across the SAMEA (South Asia, Middle East and Africa) region.
“We are constantly introducing a lot of digital tools leveraging AI technologies to accelerate the co-creation process of innovative consumer-preferred products and their introduction to the market.”
Q. With Givaudan’s history stretching back more than 250 years, what factors have been key to the company’s success in becoming a leader in the realm of flavours and fragrances today?
“Adaptation. The world and consumer needs are changing by the minute, let alone over the past 250 years since our business operation came to life. We believe in being one step ahead because it is what makes our 250-year journey an odyssey.
“Every day, our creations inspire emotions and touch millions of lives. By becoming a purpose-led company, we can go even further in making our world a happier, healthier place. Together, we have the potential to increase our positive impact on the world by innovating sustainable solutions while showing our love for nature.
“We have translated our purpose into four focus areas (creations, nature, people and community) and have set out specific, measurable ambitions. We will track our achievements against these ambitions and report on progress on a regular basis. Our B Corp certification will be the independently-verified proof that we are living this purpose every day.”
Q. Looking ahead, what are Givaudan’s plans for the future?
“Our journey of sensory discovery is indefinite. We are passionate about creating a world for all to actively feel a sense of belonging across the board of our business collective – encompassing a world of taste to revolutionise and innovate for the benefit of our customers and the environment. We will continue to evolve and adapt to the needs of the key factors driving our business.”
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