When international flavour and fragrance specialist Frutarom was acquired earlier this month for a whopping $7.1bn by US rival International Flavors & Fragrances (IFF), business analysts agreed that the deal reflected a deepening trend in the food and health industries that favours natural over artificial ingredients.
For Frutarom Health, Frutaron’s health division, current high levels of interest in natural solutions have been helping to driving strong growth across the business.
Frutarom Health had a major presence at this month’s Vitafoods Europe events in Geneva, where NPG caught top with Maider Gutierrez, director of marketing and sales, health. Commenting on the acquisiton by IFF, she said: “It’s very exciting for the future of Frutarom, and represents a big step up, and confirmation that other companies are moving in this direction – towards natural. I think what makes Frutarom so attractive is that we are one of the few companies in the world who can offer such a strong taste and health proposition, delivered as natural solutions.”
Gutierrez says that the increasing move towards natural solutions in health and nutrition is a consumer-led phenomenon. “Consumers increasingly have a conviction that natural is always better. Of course, that’s a discussion in its right! – but the market is clearly there, and growing. I think the other factor here is that consumers are better informed on the issues than ever before – thanks to the Internet – and they are increasingly leaning towards choosing natural.
“This trend definitely plays to our strengths. At Frutarom Health has always been focussed on natural. We take ingredients from nature, from plants and botanicals … that’s what we work with. But in the wider field of food colours and food protection, this is a newer development.”
At Vitafoods, Frutarom was focusing on four key ‘health benefit platforms’ – cognitive health, cardiovascular health, immune health and urinary health – where it offers a comprehensive range of science-led ingredients
More widely, Frutarom has been responding to a consumer appetite for alternative delivery system. “There is growing awareness among consumers of the benefits of supplementation, but at the same time people are looking for more appealing ways of obtaining those benefits. I think also that people often associate taking pills with illness, rather than health.”
Frutarom’s new Frutaceuticals offer is a range of ‘supplement snacks’ that deliver well-researched nutraceutical ingredients in chewable fruit pieces. The products benefit from using the proprietary URC (Ultra Rapid Concentration) process that preserves the raw material’s integrity and produces intense fruit flavours. The range was making its European trade show debut at Geneva, and according, “creating lots of very positive response on the stand.”