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Virginia Dare (Brooklyn, NY) and We-e Flavors of China have inked a deal to establish a new full-service flavor company based in Shanghai in order to capitalize on business opportunities in China.
The two firms signed a joint venture agreement on Dec. 31, 2012 in which the joint venture will use the new Chinese name 味易威德 (wei yi wei de), which the company said "references the strength of great flavor," along with the long-standing Virginia Dare name. The company will operate from the site of the former We-e Flavors, located just south of Shanghai’s city. The facility has full flavor creation, product application, and production capabilities.
We-e’s existing understanding of the Chinese market will provide Virginia Dare with a turn-key operation in China. Virginia Dare brings its vast flavor portfolio, applications experience, technology base, and internationally recognized expertise in vanilla, tea and coffee to the joint venture. The company said these strengths will be complemented by We-e Flavors extensive flavor portfolio and local market business knowledge.
“A joint venture with a local champion makes our entry into China unique. It brings us closer to our customers in China and provides us with immediate access and cultural knowledge in a critical market," said Virginia Dare president, Howard Smith Jr.
The company said We-e Flavors, under the management of founder Aaron Gao, has achieved strong annual growth since its creation in 2006. Gao has previously held top management positions at major international food and flavor companies, and will continue as the general manager of the new joint venture.
“We can attribute We-e’s great success to the company’s deep understanding of its home market’s taste preferences and culinary diversity, full range of flavor products, regional approach to sales, and unparalleled technical support services," said Gao.