Firmenich, the largest privately held flavour and fragrance company, is ramping up its Asia-Pacific presence as it banks on the region’s increasing awareness of health and wellness.
Imad Farhat, who heads up Firmenich Flavours’ breakthrough cost innovation section, will relocate from the United States to Shanghai, where he will help the company increases its emphasis on partnering
“We are excited to explore taste innovation opportunities in Asia, where the demand for a healthier food offering is rapidly increasing,” Gary Smith, vice-president of innovation, said:
“From a reverse innovation point of view, there is a great deal for us to learn in the region.”
The company will focus on taste modulation, and with health and wellness spending surging, Firmenich recently reorganised its innovation group to create a platform solely dedicated to health and nutrition.
Taste modulation technologies are becoming more critical for food and beverage companies, according to Pierre-Alain Ceralli, regional vice-president of the Ferminich’s flavours division.
“We believe that within the Chinese market and in much of Asia, there is an appetite for these innovations,” he said.
“The consumer in Southeast Asia—particularly in Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines and Malaysia—is increasingly demanding healthier products, as obesity is becoming more and more of an issue.”
“There are significant cost benefits also,” added Farhat. “In addition to delivering upgraded food and beverages in terms of health, taste and sustainability, the use of taste modulation technologies delivers significant savings and helps shield manufacturers from the volatility of commodity prices.”