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Expanding Into Vanilla: Synergy & Vanlab

Posted: March 6, 2007

Are more acquisitions coming?

Recently, Synergy Flavors (Wauconda, IL) announced its acquisition of Vanlab Corp. (Rochester, NY). Synergy Flavors is a member of the Irish-based Carbery Group and creates flavors for food and beverage manufacturers worldwide, while Vanlab Corp. is a flavoring manufacturer with specific expertise in vanilla. In the United States, Synergy’s strengths have historically been in confection, beverages (particularly dry powdered beverage flavors, and now alcoholic flavors) and bakery. P&Fnow spoke with Roderick Sowders, Synergy Flavors' president and CEO, concerning the strategy behind the acquisition and the company’s and industry’s future.

P&Fnow: What is the main reason behind the acquisition of Vanlab Corp.?

Sowders: One main reason is Vanlab’s extensive range of vanilla products, which is backed by nearly 100 years experience in the market. The second reason the company looked so interesting to us is industry diversity. Vanlab has a strong reputation and a lot of expertise in the dairy and bakery segments, which were, in the United States, segments Synergy was focused on growing. In addition, acquiring Vanlab allowed us to compete within new markets, thereby expanding our capabilities and reach into those markets.

Since Carbery first started acquiring companies, and certainly as the group moves forward, we focus a lot on our customer service quality. Vanlab has a tremendous reputation for customer service that fits very nicely with Synergy and the whole Carbery Group.