Founded in 1931 by Rudolf Wild in Heidelberg, Germany’s Marstallstraße, WILD is celebrating its 80th anniversary this year, building on its success as a family business to one of the world’s leading manufacturers of natural ingredients for the food and beverage industries. A large part of the company’s success during the past 37 years has been Hans-Peter Wild, who celebrated his 70th birthday on June 16, 2011.“My goal has always been, and still is, to safeguard the long-term continuance of my parents’ family business, which I have expanded into an internationally successful corporation,” explains Hans-Peter.
Joining the company in 1974, Hans-Peter began to aim the company toward globalization, extending its product portfolio to include fruit preparations and flavors (in addition to base drink ingredients) in the 80s and later adding natural color products and acquiring base ingredient manufacturer Scholvien to add to its herbal, tea and plant extract products.
In addition to the ingredients business, Hans-Peter also helped set up the kids’ drink brand Capri-Sonne and has helped to expand the mechanical and plant engineering company INDAG Process Technology, which produces packaging units for stand-up pouches.
In 2010, Wild entered into a strategic partnership with international investor Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co, which holds a 35% share of the global flavors business, and in July 2010, a global structure was established for all the companies within the WILD group. The flavor divisions were grouped under a new Swiss holding WILD Flavors GmbH Zug (Switzerland), which included Rudolf Wild GmbH & Co. KG, Eppelheim (Germany), WILD Affiliated Holdings Inc., Erlanger (Kentucky/USA) and other Swiss assets owned by Hans-Peter Wild.
Wild notes staff and customers both should benefit from this new organization. “Our partners will benefit from our global activities, our expertise in flavors and our high quality awareness as regards food technology. Thanks to our internationally applied consumer trend research, we recognize how customer needs are changing at an early stage and can use the gained insights to develop promising new concepts for our customers. As a globally operating producer and supplier of ingredients we also have direct access to all the significant raw materials sources. That allows us to offer our customers the best products for the respective markets worldwide.”
Managing director Heinrich Sievers reports, “Pressure from the food trade led to our customers wanting to limit the product ranges, and cost reductions and streamlining were often at the focus of activities. Fortunately, attitudes are now changing, and our innovations are back in demand. Following an already excellent year 2010 we have just recorded the best half-year in company history.”
The company is also looking to continue to expand its presence beyond is current established markets. “WILD traditionally has an excellent basis in Europe and the US. We will now be investing in business developments in the emerging economies in Asia, South America, Eastern Europe, Africa and the Middle East,” Cosimo Trimigliozzi, COO of WILD Flavors International GmbH. “WILD has been enjoying considerable success in Russia for years now. Clearly the strong links to our European organization have stood us in good stead here.” Additionally, WILD initiated activity in China in 1997. “We are now working on expanding our Chinese operations with targeted acquisitions,” Trimigliozzi comments, and he also notes Brazil and India will benefit from WILD investments, as well. The goal is to increase market presence in these countries through acquisitions and/or collaborations in product development and sales. Two such projects are already in final stages and are scheduled to be completed soon.