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According to Alain Benoît, Mane’s vice president Fine Fragrances EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa), the company’s long-term goal is to be among the top five in the industry. How does Mane plan to achieve this goal? What are the challenges? How is the French F&F landscape changing? Benoît spoke to P&F magazine about the company’s history, as well as its current initiatives and goals that have allowed the company to expand while remaining true to its roots.
Mane through the years
Mane is a family-owned company established in 1871. The company’s ancestral traditions of specializing in raw materials date back to the days when Victor Mane started producing fragrances from regional flowers and plants. His sons, Eugène and Gabriel, modernized and developed the business internationally between 1916 and 1958. During that time, Mane created and consolidated its international network. In 1959, Maurice Mane took over from his father, Eugène. Under Maurice’s leadership, the company increased its production capacity, set up research and analytical laboratories, diversified into flavorings for the food industry, and developed its international network of subsidiaries. This international development continues today; some of the more recently established locations include China, Russia, Thailand, Dubai (United Arab Emirates) and South Africa.
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Fine fragrances have been a focus since the early 1990s under the leadership of Michel Mane, who was appointed president of fragrances. Since then, the division has developed to become the fastest-growing subsegment in fragrances, giving new attributes to Mane’s positioning, as well as brand-driven values, such as creativity and prestige. Yet, Mane’s philosophy still lies in its long history in chemistry, technologies and processes. Jean and Michel Mane, who head the group today, are the fourth generation in management, ensuring continuing growth and long-term strategic choices. Today, the entire organization has been structured and is dedicated to serving leading global clients, which comprise two-thirds of the business. The company’s turnover reached €263 million ($327 million) in 2005, with more than 85% of its activity conducted in France.