Firmenich Flavors will now approach Flavor innovation looking at its future through three platforms: Health and Nutrition; Natural and Sustainable; and Breakthrough Cost Innovation.
The name of this new innovation group is i5 (I to the power of 5); in which the five “I”s stand for ideate, invent, invest, inspire, ignite. To lead i5, Firmenich has appointed Gary Smith, a senior executive with 25 years of flavors experience with Firmenich. Most recently, Smith managed the group’s taste modulation business unit (NATAMO) and also its global strategic customer business unit.
According to Firmenich, these platforms capture and capitalize on the continued consumer demand for healthier and more nutritious food and beverages, the growing public interest and awareness in the sustainability of natural products and, on the increasing and significant emphasis food and beverage manufacturers will place on cost efficiency.
“With this new set-up, we are combining our traditional approach - which focuses on our technologies as the primary drivers of innovation - with the addition of a deep analysis of the challenges of our times and of the future,” said Aldo Uva, president, Firmenich Flavors. “This internal- and external-facing combination will ensure we are creating the solutions that are prepared to meet the challenges of the future and the needs of our customers and their consumers," he added.
In Health and Nutrition, Firmenich will focus on meeting needs including the current push for calorie, sugar and salt reduction. Future challenges, such as protein availability and other nutritional shortages, will also be a priority. Currently, the company is funding clinical research on a new source of nutrients that will deliver key health benefits that consumers demand (results will be available early next year). In order to maintain objectivity, the company is assembling an external panel of nutrition specialists to advise on innovations in this area.
Natural and Sustainable will focus on the company’s natural raw material supply, ensuring core natural materials, including citrus, vanilla, mint and cocoa, are sourced sustainably and effectively. Price stability is another key area of importance and the company will be looking at ways to extend natural solutions to allow for more consistent costing for these products. This platform will also address the growing consumer demand for clean label and develop new and innovative ways to help customers meet this requirement.
Breakthrough Cost Innovation will focus on new technologies, processes and approaches to offer more efficient value across the company’s entire flavor portfolio. Firmenich will seek to deliver more value to customers and consumers through a more sustainable supply chain with less waste, higher efficiency and improved performance.