In 2008, the top 10 flavor and fragrance companies combined claimed about 71.2% of the market on sales of $14.586 billion—up from 2007’s $13.598 billion. The remaining 28.8% of the market totaled about $5.913 billion in sales. The estimated grand total for the industry in 2008 was about $20.5 billion. Looking at the challenging 2009 facing the industry, and assessing first quarter results and forward-looking statements, most are predicting a single-digit decline in overall sales. John Leffingwell, in particular has cited a potential 3–6% sales decline for the industry in 2009. In recent correspondence, he noted, “It has been clear for the last several quarters that flavor sales seem remarkably resilient (not great, but resilient), while fragrances and ingredients are suffering. However, overall the flavor and fragrance industry appears relatively healthy compared to many other industries.”
In that spirit, Perfumer & Flavorist magazine presents its 2009 Flavor & Fragrance Leaderboard, a ranking—by 2008 sales—of the top 10 companies, with exclusive insights from key executives regarding their organizations’ strategic initiatives and challenges, and where the industry is heading. The picture that emerges is one of unprecedented difficulties, remarkable opportunities and, most of all, resilience.