Summary of our market study

The French marketfor food flavorings is estimated at around 750 million in 2023.

The global food flavorings market, valued at $16.4 billion in 2020, is expected to grow at an annual rate of 4.8% to 2025, reaching a market value of $20.7 billion. This growth is being accelerated by increasing demand for processed foods and by various innovations in the food industry, with Asia being the biggest consumer and South America expected to see the strongest growth.

The industry, marked by a preference for natural flavors due to health and environmental considerations, is seeing the French market make a significant contribution, having increased by 56% in value. Major players, such as Swiss companies Givaudan and Firmenich, and French companies Mane and Robertet, dominate the market, with Givaudan holding the largest share at 19.5%.

France has a trade surplus in this sector, exporting 411 million euros and importing 280 million euros worth of flavors, underlining its competitiveness on the world stage.

Despite the slowdown caused by the pandemic, the sector remains resilient, with a trend towards market consolidation, with the main players investing heavily in research and development (R&D) to innovate and capture consumer interest.

Trends in the French food flavorings market

Demand for natural flavors is driven by consumer interest in healthier, more environmentally-friendly options. This national trend has contributed to strong market growth, as evidenced by the sector's remarkable increase in sales - at an average of around 6.5% per year.

France has also become a net exporter of food flavorings, with exports outstripping imports by a factor of 1.5, consolidating its status as Europe's leading flavorings trader. Flavor manufacturers, including Givaudan and Firmenich in Switzerland and Mane and Robertet in France, spearhead the market. Mane, in particular, dominates the French sector with a share of around 13%.

French production is made up of numerous small, family-run businesses, which account for around 90% of the industry, mainly in the Grasse region.

In the food industry, the beverage and savory segments are the main consumers of flavors. There is a growing trend within the food industry to move away from artificial flavors. Manufacturers are turning to natural flavors.

Innovation is vital to the industry, as evidenced by the major companies' substantial R&D expenditure, which represents around 8% of their sales.

The global food flavorings market is characterized by a few multinationals and a large number of traditional producers.

  • Givaudan - a Swiss giant, world market leader in flavors.
  • Firmenich - one of the largest private companies in its field.
  • International Flavors & Fragrances (IFF) - a giant in the world of scents and tastes, which acquired Frutarom
  • Symrise - Germany's aroma and fragrance craftsman
  • Robertet, a family-owned French company exporting worldwide
  • Mane, a French company
  • Takasago and T Hasegawa, two Japanese champions
  • Kerry Group, a multinational of Irish origin
  • Bell Flavors & flagrances
  • Keva
  • Huabao, Chinese company
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Summary and extracts

1 Market overview

1.1 Presentation and definition of the market for food flavourings

A food flavouring is an ingredient that provides a specific taste and/or odour to the food into which it is incorporated in very small doses.

According to the forecast, the global flavouring market will grow at a sustained rate of 4.8% per year between 2020 and 2025 . This increase is driven by emerging countries, with Asia already representing the leading consumer continent for food flavorings, but also South America, which is expected to experience the strongest growth over this period. France is not excluded from this dynamic, on the contrary since the national market grew by 56% in value between 2011 and 2018 and continues to grow year after year, despite a slowdown in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The main players in the market are the manufacturers of food flavourings, including the Swiss Givaudan and Firmenich the American IFF the Japanese Takasago International or the French Mane and Robertet .

The French aromatic market is mainly marked by the consumer's attraction to naturalness . This trend is leading to a strong interest in natural flavours, which are sought after both for their health and environmental benefits and also for their ability to add flavour to a modern cuisine that is very healthy and natural. [ SNIAA ]

List of charts presented in this market study

  • Size of the food flavorings market
  • Evolution du chiffre d'affaires de l'arômatique alimentaire
  • Evolution du commerce extérieur d'arômes alimentaires
  • Répartition des exportations d'arômes alimentaires
  • Répartition des importations d'arômes alimentaires
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Latest news

DSM-Firmenich plans to sell its Animal Health & Nutrition division due to volatility in vitamins - 19/02/2024
  • Merger between DSM and Firmenich in mid-2022.
  • Sale of Animal Health & Nutrition (ANH) division planned for 2025.
  • ANH sales in 2022: 3.2 billion euros, or 26% of the Group total.
  • DSM-Firmenich sales down 7% to 12.3 billion euros in 2023
  • ANH sales down by 15%.
  • ANH is based in Kaiseraugst, Switzerland, and employs around 6,000 people.
  • The three remaining divisions after the demerger are Perfumery & Beauty (sales of 3.7 billion euros in 2023), Taste, Texture & Health (sales of 3 billion euros), and Health, Nutrition & Care (HNC with sales of 2.3 billion euros)
  • The group will have total sales of 9 billion euros after the demerger.
Robertet aims to convert India to natural flavors - 05/01/2024
  • Robertet has acquired 85% of the capital of Sonarome, an Indian company.
  • Sonarome generates sales of 15 million euros.
  • Robertet generates 15% of its sales in Asia.
  • Robertet achieves sales of 703 million in 2022.
  • 80% of Robertet's sales are generated outside France and 65% outside Europe, with a very strong presence in the United States.
  • Robertet has forecast record growth of 16% in 2022.
  • Robertet employs 2,200 people worldwide, including a thousand in France.
An investigation has been launched into the major players in the perfume world, dubbed the "Perfume Cartel". - 09/03/2023
  • Perfume gotha suspected of illegal price fixing
  • Firmenich: sales up 10.5% to 4.9 billion Swiss francs in 2022
  • International Flavors and Fragrances: sales of $11.80 billion for 2022
  • Symrise: sales of 4.6 billion euros for 2022, with profits of over 265.55 million euros Firmenich to merge with Dutch DSM
  • Companies can be fined up to 10% of worldwide sales for violating EU antitrust rules
Kerry sells its sweet ingredients portfolio to Advent for €500m - 11/01/2023
  • Sale price: 500 million euros ($538 million)
  • Purchaser: Advent International
  • Advent portfolio company: IRCA
  • Advent's objective: to create a world leader in semi-finished food ingredients
  • Target sales: approx. 1 billion euros
Industrial fragrances: Firmenich strengthens its position before merging | Industrial fragrances: Firmenich strengthens its position before merging. - 05/08/2022
  • Firmenich: 11,000 employees
  • Annual sales (to end June) up +10.5% to 4.8 billion euros
  • One of the world's leading fragrance and flavor manufacturers
  • Swiss group to merge with Dutch DSM, announced in late May
  • The "perfumes & beauty" business of the new DSM Firmenich entity will account for 3.3 billion euros, or around 29% of total sales

Companies quoted in this study

This study contains a complete overview of the companies in the market, with the latest figures and news for each company. :

IFF International Flavours and Flagrances
The Archer Daniels Midland Company
Kerry Group PLC
Huabao International Holdings Limited
T Hasegawa

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