Givaudan is looking at salt and sugar flavour development

Givaudan is looking at salt and sugar flavour development

Rising demand for healthier products has prompted Swiss fragrance and flavours specialist Givaudan increase its focus on "health and wellness", one of its five key growth "pillars".

Givaudan CFO Matthias Wahren said the firm was making "an important contribution to healthier products" either through direct reduction of salts and sugars or by "developing flavours that allow our customers to reduce their sugar [and salt] content without changing the taste of the product".

The firm has worked on a process it calls "masking", allowing it to inject "healthy ingredients" such as artificial sweeteners or vitamins into any food or drink from cakes, to yoghurt and ice-cream and savoury products. The process masks the "negative taste aspect" of these ingredients in food or beverage products.

Wahren told an audience at this year's CAGE conference in London that this innovation was important as "the majority of customers are not willing to sacrifice the taste for health benefits".

"We are making an important contribution to the good taste of so-called healthier products," he said.

Speaking to just-food today (20 March) a spokesperson for Givaudan said there was a "demand from the food industry for making healthier foods" and added it was a "promising area".

Wahren said that while growth rates had slowed down for Givaudan since the "business has become much bigger," Givaudan's sales in the flavour masking area had quickly grown.

"In 2005 we talked about this first at an investor's conference when sales were close to zero. Now we are significantly above CHF200m (US$228m).

"It's a clear area of growth. It's at least 10% of the business of the flavour division and that's also where we are focusing our research in the flavours division."

Overall, the company is targeting revenue growth of 4.5-5% year-on-year. The spokesperson sales growth in flavour masking was predicted to be "better than average" but declined to provide more detailed estimates.

"Globally there is a demand for healthy products. It is as big in emerging markets as it is in developing markets," he concluded.