Firmenich introduces Orange NextGen replacers and extenders, its natural alternative to FTNF (From The Named Fruit) orange oils, achieving identical orange flavours at significant economic benefit to customers and enabling sustained supply.
The global orange oil market has been under severe pressure and volatility in recent years due to crop shortages, poor fruit quality, climate-related challenges, and transportation instability. To address these supply disruptions and meet the growing demand for orange citrus oils, Firmenich has developed a range of natural, high-performing Orange WONF (With Other Natural Flavours) solutions, achieving taste profiles identical to orange oils.
“A fundamental part of our commitment to being our client’s unrivaled Citrus Partner means providing great taste and consistent quality, together with supply stability,” said Sonia Botta, Firmenich’s Global Citrus VP. “This is especially relevant in light of the continuing supply challenges facing the orange oil market. By leveraging our strong in-house citrus capabilities, advanced analytical expertise and deep understanding of natural molecules, our experienced Citrus Flavorists have masterfully created Orange NextGen replacers and extenders, allowing us to provide equivalent taste at cost competitiveness.”
For use in a wide variety of applications including waters, juices, alcoholic beverages, sweet goods and savory products, Firmenich’s Orange NextGen is designed to replace or extend orange oils, helping customers avoid product disruptions and delivering the same great flavour their consumers have grown to love.
Firmenich, the world’s largest privately-owned fragrance and taste company, is excited to announce its 2023 flavour of the year, dragon fruit, celebrating consumers’ desire for exciting new ingredients and bold, adventurous flavour creation.
“This marks our 11th flavour of the year, which is something our customers have come to look forward to each year. Dragon fruit’s bold vibrancy is a perfect choice as we embark an exciting year of change,” said Maurizio Clementi, ad interim President, Firmenich’s Taste & Beyond division. “Our in-depth Human Insights have identified the strong shift towards wellbeing and sustainability in people’s food and beverage choices, as well as newly-emerging elevated expectations in terms of taste. As everything we do is rooted in nature and deep consumer understanding, this inspired us to choose a flavour of the year which captures both.”
Drawing inspiration from colour & Trenz™
This is the second consecutive year of a sensory partnership between Firmenich and Pantone®. The global colour authority has just launched its 2023 colour of the year, PANTONE® 18-1750 Viva Magenta™, which it describes as a “brave and fearless, a pulsating colour whose exuberance promotes optimism and joy.” Mikel Cirkus, Global Creative Director for Taste & Beyond said: “In the same way that Pantone’s colour of the year captures the emerging themes seen in the world around us, our choice for flavour of the year does so by translating new signals into positive sensory experiences. Our 2023 choice of dragon fruit reflects the global consumer’s increasingly adventurous palate and desire for the new or exotic when it comes to ingredients and taste.”
Jeff Schmoyer, Firmenich Global Head of Human Insights, said: “Dragon fruit’s subtle flavour creates a wonderful opportunity to bring the exceptional creativity and expertise of Firmenich’s flavourists to the fore, providing the perfect canvas for them to dare to imagine bold, exciting and delicious new taste combinations.”
A fruit by any other name
Native to Central America, where it is known as pitahaya, and thriving in tropical and subtropical climates across the world, dragon fruit’s flesh is rich in antioxidants and high in calcium. Dragon fruit grows from a climbing cactus, making it a drought-resistant and naturally low water-use crop, requiring only a quarter of the water to grow compared to that of an avocado.
Much like the mystical creature that inspired its name, dragon fruit is fierce in appearance, with a scale-like skin in bold hues ranging from fiery yellow to bold magenta. However, its delicate flavour belies its imposing armor. With several different types varying in both colour and taste, dragon fruit ranges in flavour from milder melon and kiwi-like to slightly sweeter berry profiles with notes of beetroot.
Enter the dragon fruit
Part of its industry-leading Human Insights capability, Firmenich’s Trenz™ forecasting team spotted a post-Covid rise in dragon fruit across almost every major city in the world. While always popular within niche segments, the exotic fruit began showing up more universally across diverse markets and food service venues, as well as product applications, from the more intuitive juices and smoothies to less traditional formats like tea and cooked savory dishes.
According to Mikel Cirkus, this is all part of a decade-long trend for boldness and discovery in food and drink. The pandemic increased the pace of this trend, with huge spikes in consumers broadening their palates for new seasoning. Notably, expenditures on spices & seasonings at home grew 27 % CAGR1, Trenz™ found. New product innovation has followed, with on-pack claims such as “bold” and “exotic” up by 38 % since 2017, and the use of three- and four-way flavour combinations in products now cresting over 25 % of all food & beverage launches.
Firmenich’s renowned Emotions360 consumer research offered a second clue. This proprietary in-depth study of natural ingredients identified that people are very excited about dragon fruit. In fact, Emotions360’s latest wave, which surveyed 18,670 consumers across eight countries around the world, indicated that 88 % of consumers have heard of dragon fruit, and 56 % have tasted it. In terms of consumer perceptions, dragon fruit triggers associations with adjectives like bold, exotic, exciting, impressive and fun. Given this positive association, it’s not surprising that the same consumers ranked dragon fruit in the 90 % percentile among all ingredients with a high likelihood to rise in popularity in the future.
A fiery future
As much as dragon fruit is on fire in juice bars, markets, and street vendors around the world, the packaged food & beverage world was initially slow to innovate around this trend. However, this trend is changing, with product launches containing dragon fruit callouts now accelerating in all regions. In fact, dragon fruit use in CPG (Consumer Packaged Goods) is growing more quickly in foods than beverages, where innovations typically appear first.
Jeff Schmoyer, Firmenich Global Head of Human Insights, commented: “Dragon fruit may be still a ‘rare’ fruit flavour for CPG food & beverage brands, but it is no longer rare to consumers. And in fact, this has translated to one of the fastest growth rates of any ingredient we’ve tracked in recent years. Given the small base and fast growth, it is certainly our boldest Flavour of the Year choice yet from a predictive foresights perspective. It’s possible that the initial lag in new product innovation is in part related to the challenge of realising the flavour of dragon fruit. Our consumer research shows that the fruit can sometimes surprise people by not having the strong flavour to match its visual appearance. Instead, the taste is light, refreshing, sweet, and delicious.”
“For this reason, Firmenich believes that its flavour creativity will play a key role in amplifying the taste and celebrating combinations of dragon fruit with other flavours,” Schmoyer concluded.
1Compound Annual Growth Rate (Source : Global Data LLC and Firmenich analytics)
Firmenich, one of the world’s largest privately-owned fragrance and taste companies, released its annual Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Report, tracking progress toward the group’s groundbreaking sustainability targets. Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 was marked by strong sustainability performance across the Group’s three key pillars, climate, nature, and people, backed by growing, best-in-class independent evaluation and reinforced ESG governance.
FY2022 ESG Performance Highlights
- Acting on Climate Change: Firmenich was one of only two companies to receive a fourth consecutive CDP Triple A rating for climate, water, and forests. Three manufacturing sites, in Norway, Singapore and South Africa, were carbon neutral in FY22, all operating without the use of offsets. Firmenich maintained decoupling of growth in manufacturing output from its CO2 emissions: in FY22, Scope 1 and 2 emissions were reduced by 36.1 % vs. 2017, and the new ingredients sites reduced Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 12.2 % vs. 2020. The Group maintained 100 % Renewable Electricity in its operations including in new acquisitions1. Firmenich aims to reach carbon neutrality in its direct operations by 2025, absolute carbon emissions reduction by 2030 in line with limiting temperature rise to 1.5˚C, as well as net-zero emissions by 2039 across its direct operations and value chain (Scopes 1, 2, and 3). Its net-zero targets were validated by the Science-Based Targets initiative (SBTi) in August 2022, making Firmenich the first company in its industry to receive SBTi approval.
- Embracing Nature: Building on UEBT validation of the Group’s biodiversity strategy, work began on restoration at 15 % of Firmenich sites with biodiversity risk, in line with Science-Based Targets for Nature. Implementation of 100 % verified Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) was increased. Firmenich continued to expand the proportion of ultimately or partially biodegradable ingredients in its fragrances to 96.6 % on average, having surpassed its 95 % target a year earlier. Firmenich reinforced green proteins in product development, enabling customers to accelerate the plant-based food revolution and contribute to climate change mitigation.
- Caring about People: Building on gender pay equity and its work to strengthen inclusion, Firmenich achieved Living Wage certification by Fairwage Network in 2022 ahead of the Group’s 2025 target, a key step to ensure decent living standards for all employees and their families. The Group advanced its high global health and safety standards with an improved 0.26 Total Recordable Case (TRC) rate, and a third consecutive Gold Award from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA). Firmenich continued to maintain zero human rights non-compliance and scaled up its effort to drive concerted business action by becoming United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) Impact Sponsor for Labor and Decent Work.
Overall, Firmenich achieved an upgraded rating from Sustainalytics with a score of 7.5, in the global top 50 of approximately 15,000 companies, that highlights the Group’s low ESG risk profile. A second consecutive Platinum rating by Ecovadis with an industry-leading score of 88 % placed Firmenich in the top 1 % of all companies assessed worldwide. The Group was also rated for the first time as one of the “2022 World’s Most Ethical Companies” by Ethisphere®, a global leader in defining and advancing the standards of ethical business practices.
Firmenich continued to work actively in alliances and partnerships, including the UN Global Compact, the Union for Ethical Biotrade (UEBT), One Planet Business for Biodiversity (OP2B), and the Science-Based Targets initiative (SBTi), to drive positive change at scale and foster effective action on climate, nature, and people in the business community.
More detailed information on Firmenich’s ESG journey is available online in the ESG Report 2022.
1Firmenich moved to majority ownership of ArtSci in May 2022. This entity is not included in the scope of the report and will be integrated gradually in the Group’s ESG framework in FY2023.
Living Wage is embedded within wider set of responsible pay practices aimed at creating equal opportunities and building a more inclusive society
Firmenich, one of the world’s largest privately-owned fragrance and taste companies, announces it has achieved living wage certification across all of its global operations. Firmenich is the second company in the world and the first in its industry to achieve this milestone, ensuring decent living standards for employees globally. Following a rigorous external assessment by Fair Wage Network, a widely recognised international NGO, the Group was awarded this pioneering certification three years ahead of its target completion date.
“I am very proud that Firmenich is one of only two companies worldwide to have succeeded in securing living wage certification,” said Gilbert Ghostine, CEO Firmenich. “As a critical pillar of our inclusive capitalism model, our progressive approach aims at creating a positive impact for all our stakeholders, and our employees are key to making us thrive as a responsible business. Ensuring that people, wherever they are, earn a living wage is a critical step towards building a more equitable and inclusive workplace and society. Fair Wage Network recognizes our concrete achievements in embedding fair compensation across our Group and I am particularly pleased this is raising the standard in our industry. I hope this inspires other organisations to join our efforts.”
“Firmenich continues to set the standard for excellence in the world of work, and our holistic strategy aims at securing equity and inclusion across the entire organisation. Building on achievements such as our EDGE certification, our no gender pay gap policy, equal representation on the Executive Committee, and a culture of diversity and inclusion, this certification will further strengthen Firmenich’s profile as a leading global employer,” said Mieke Van de Capelle, Chief Human Resources Officer at Firmenich. “Having reached this milestone already today, we will now further accelerate our efforts, partnering with suppliers to ensure that fair wage practices become the standard to do business together.”
The notion of a living wage is embedded within a wider set of responsible pay practices and principles already in place at Firmenich, such as fairness, equality and performance rewards. Living wage certification reinforces the Group’s equitable culture and helps to stimulate economic growth with benefits for its employees, and the wider community.
In 2021, Firmenich committed to providing a certified living wage to 100 % of employees globally by 2025. Having achieved this goal already today, Firmenich is engaged in driving strong practices on living wage across the value chain in collaboration with its customers and suppliers. Training for 100 major suppliers on human rights will include 10 new initiatives at source, including focus on women’s empowerment, education, human rights practices and living wage.
Firmenich is an active member in living wage initiatives, including the UN Global Compact Decent Work in Supply Chain platform; IDH (The Sustainable Trade Initiative); Sustainable Vanilla Initiative (SVI); and the Juice Covenant on the juice value chain. The Group has also been recognized by the United Nations Global Compact and will assume from June 2022 a global leadership position at the Labor and Decent Work Global Compact platform.
Firmenich, one of the world’s largest privately-owned fragrance and taste companies, and Finlays, a leading supplier of tea, coffee and botanical solutions, have entered an agreement giving Firmenich full sales rights to Finlays’ European tea and coffee extracts portfolio in Europe, effective immediately.
As a part of this new agreement, Firmenich will focus on commercializing two core parts of Finlays’ extracts business in Europe: its world-leading Cold Brew Coffee portfolio and its Tea Extract portfolio. The Cold Brew Coffee portfolio serves a rapidly growing segment within the European region, and is crafted using a proprietary process which delivers a distinctly smooth, rich flavor experience. Finlays’ Tea Extract portfolio includes The Wellbeing Collection, a range of premium, all-natural tea extracts which are rich in bioactive compounds associated with various health benefits. These extracts are sustainably sourced from Finlays’ own tea farms, with on-site extraction facilities that enable tea leaves to be harvested and extracted on the same day, thereby preserving their fresh flavor and natural bioactive composition.
Under the new agreement, Firmenich is responsible for the full sales process, from commercial relationship to brief management, supported by the Finlays team. The partnership focuses exclusively on Finlays’ ranges of tea and coffee extracts, and covers European markets only.
Firmenich takes action beyond gender focusing on ethnic minorities, LGBTIQ+ & differently-abled workforce
Firmenich, one of the world’s largest privately-owned fragrance and taste companies, became the first company in the world to successfully upgrade its global EDGE Certification for gender equality in the workplace to the next level: “Move” status. Recognizing the Group’s ever more inclusive culture, the leading business certification standard for gender equality awarded Firmenich Move status for its progress in expanding diverse representation at all levels and a strong sense of belonging among its diverse workforce. Firmenich continues to lead in workplace equality, having been the 7th company in the world and the first in its industry to achieve global certification in 2018 at Assess level.
“I am very proud that Firmenich is one of only two companies that have achieved Global EDGE MOVE certification, raising the bar for gender equality under EDGE’s demanding benchmarks for continuous improvement,” said Gilbert Ghostine, CEO Firmenich. “EDGE recognizes our concrete achievements in embedding equality worldwide, as an employer of choice and a trusted and reliable partner for our customers. I am particularly pleased that we set the standard at the very top of the organization with gender parity on our world-class executive team.”
“The remarkable leap forward Firmenich has made in two years at the global level from the first level to the second level of EDGE Certification, EDGE Move, demonstrates that intentional, prioritized and measured actions undeniably accelerate progress towards gender balance, diversity and inclusion,” said Aniela Unguresan, Co-founder of EDGE Certified Foundation. “Specifically, Firmenich’s global EDGE Move certification illustrates the company’s progress in terms of gender representation and proactive management of pay equity across its main countries of operation.”
“Firmenich continues to set the standard for excellence as the best place to work in our industry. Since our first global EDGE certification in 2018, we have achieved significant milestones, from no gender pay gap worldwide to systematically implementing diverse talent pools,” said Mieke Van de Capelle, Chief Human Resources Officer at Firmenich. “While I am very proud of our achievements, we are focusing on new frontiers with targeted action that goes beyond gender. It’s about embracing the power of inclusion of minority groups, securing effective representation and engagement of people with different abilities, ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds and sexual orientation.”
Building on its achievements, the Group’s new Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) strategy sets ambitious 2030 people goals, including commitments on human rights, ethnic pay equity, creating 5,000 job opportunities for youth and continuing to raise the representation of differently-abled people in its workforce to 10 %.
Since 2018, Firmenich has raised women’s representation in its global workforce to 41 % and eliminated gender pay gaps. Expanded flexible working opportunities worldwide, effective recruitment and promotion practices, as well as continuous training and mentoring, have enhanced equal representation at all levels including critical pathways to senior management. Half of Firmenich’s Executive Committee is female.
EDGE Certification at the global level entails a global evaluation of Firmenich data and processes, as well as a comprehensive survey of its employees worldwide. Firmenich emerged from the rigorous assessment as an employer that is clearly meeting and exceeding core certification criteria around hiring, pay, retention, development and engagement of its employees.
Certification EDGE is the leading global assessment methodology and business certification standard for gender equality. It measures where organizations stand in terms of gender balance across their pipeline, pay equity, effectiveness of policies and practices to ensure equitable career flows as well as inclusiveness of their culture. Launched at the World Economic Forum in 2011, EDGE has been designed to help companies not only create an optimal workplace for women and men, but also benefit from it. EDGE stands for Economic Dividends for Gender Equality and is distinguished by its rigor and focus on business impact. EDGE assessment methodology was developed by the EDGE Certified Foundation, which continues to act as the guardian of EDGE methodology and certification standards. Its commercial arm, EDGE Strategy, works with companies to prepare them for the EDGE Certification. EDGE Certification’s diverse customer base consists of 200 large organizations in 44 countries across five continents, representing 29 different industries and employing globally more than 2.4 million employees.
Firmenich, the world’s largest privately-owned Perfume and Taste company, is proud to announce the opening of its new biotechnology and naturals pilot plant and laboratory in Geneva. Benefiting from the latest digital technology, the facility opens a new era for the development of ingredients and clean label solutions by providing faster speed-to-market and greater flexibility for customer collaboration. Integrated into the Group’s flagship ingredients production site at La Plaine, Geneva, the facility operates to the highest safety and environmental standards, reducing waste and energy consumption.
“With our new biotechnology pilot plant closely connected with the ingredients production site, Firmenich provides integrated biotech development all the way down to the finished product, without any gaps,” said Genevieve Berger, Chief Research Officer, Firmenich. “Opening a new era in ingredients creation, our pilot plant and laboratory harnesses new technologies to improve clean label solutions, while the latest digital innovation maximizes efficiency.”
“Our new pilot plant provides greater flexibility to respond to customer needs in product development,” said Sarah Reisinger, Senior Vice President Research Operations, Firmenich. “Capable of handling multiple projects simultaneously, it also enables small scale production of trial batches for formulation or testing and regulatory validation.”
Operational this month, the pilot plant at La Plaine is a cornerstone for new ingredients for both perfumery and flavors, enabling the development of the most efficient and high-quality production processes through biotechnology or natural extraction. Harnessing digital technology for increased automation, the pilot plant is able to move from single to continuous batch process, increasing efficiency, speed and reducing the use of raw materials.
In keeping with Firmenich’s recognized track record in sustainability, the new pilot plant benefits from efficient bioreactors, which minimizes both the amount of waste produced and energy consumed.
Upcycling an existing building at the Firmenich site in La Plaine, the new facility benefit from full synergies with the ingredients production plant. State of the art safety and environmental features were also designed into the new pilot plant and laboratory.
Celebrating 30 years of growth in Turkey, Firmenich is proud to announce its new and expanded facility in Istanbul, strategically located to serve the dynamic Turkish market, as well as Europe and the Middle-East. With state-of-the-art laboratories for enhanced creativity and fast speed-to-market, this facility is designed according to the WELL Building Standard™, the global benchmark for employee wellbeing in the workplace.
“Following three decades of solid growth in Turkey, this strategic investment reinforces Firmenich’s commitment to this dynamic market,” said Gilbert Ghostine, CEO, Firmenich. “With this new creative center in Istanbul, we are set up to deliver winning scent and taste innovation to our customers with greater speed-to-market.”
“Today’s opening is in line with our ambitious growth plans in Turkey and beyond”, said Dilek Arvas, Director & General Manager, Firmenich Turkey. “With our people at the heart of everything we do, we designed this new facility with our colleagues’ wellbeing top of mind, to offer an optimal working and creative environment where everyone can thrive.”
Building on its unique legacy of responsible business, Firmenich operates an inclusive capitalism business model based on delivering positive value for all its stakeholders, including people, planet and society. Putting people first, Firmenich is one of only seven companies worldwide, and the first ever in Turkey, to be globally certified as a gender equal employer by EDGE, the gold standard for workplace equality.
Another key pillar of its inclusive capitalism business model is the Group’s commitment to preserving the planet, by leading the most traceable, ethical and sustainable value chain for its natural ingredients. For instance in Turkey, Firmenich works hand-in-hand with producers in the Isparta region, in mid-Anatolia, to harvest Turkish Roses, known for their beauty and delicacy, in the most sustainable way possible.
When it comes to society, as leaders in the Science of Taste, Firmenich plays a key role in addressing today’s malnutrition crisis, by making healthier food and drink options taste delicious for all. For example, its latest technology TastePRINT™ can reduce up to 100% of added sugar naturally without compromising on taste. Last year alone it removed 150 metric tons of sugar from products that people love, removing 600 billion calories from their diets.
Firmenich announced its exclusive partnership with Blue Marble Biomaterials, a leading U.S. biotechnology company specialized in natural and sustainable ingredients. With this partnership Firmenich gains direct access to key expertise, from biomimicry to non-GM fermentation, enabling the design of innovative and sustainable natural ingredients for the food, beverage and flavor industries.
“At Firmenich, we are committed to shaping food and beverage solutions that consumers can trust with flavors drawn from nature that taste great and enhance nutrition,” said Chris Millington, President, Flavors, Firmenich. “This is a win-win partnership, with Blue Marble Biomaterials technology complementing our leadership in flavor science, creation and consumer understanding.”
“Blue Marble is excited to innovate with Firmenich,” said James Stephens, CEO of Blue Marble. “Through biotechnological pathways and with our fermentation technology we will provide Firmenich with valuable and exclusive, novel natural ingredients.”
“Firmenich has leading capabilities in naturals, with our ability to source specific natural raw materials, and develop our own extraction processes,” says Dr. Jerome Barra, Vice President of Innovation & Design, Flavor Division, Firmenich. “In addition, we have a proven track record in bringing natural ingredients to the market. Our collaboration with Blue Marble Biomaterials is an extension of these capabilities, enabling us to address consumers’ expectations for more transparent food and beverage experiences.”