Givaudan makes a world of products smell nicer and taste better. The company, with a 20% market share worldwide, makes and sells flavors and fragrances (in solid and liquid forms) throughout the world. Its flavors are used in beverages, soups, cheese, dressings, snacks, candy and other food manufacturing applications. Company "flavorists" work with clients to develop new products. Its fragrances go into everything from upscale perfumes to laundry detergents. As one of the oldest fragrance and flavor businesses in the world, Givaudan also operates a school of perfumery, maintains scent and flavor libraries, and invests research money into the science of sensory perception. Nestlé owns about 10% of the company.
With roots reaching back to 1796, Givaudan claims to have developed the first fashion designer fragrance, Shocking, in 1937. Since then the company has expanded the scope of its operations, and today it is the largest maker of scents used in perfumes. Its clientele ranges from regional firms to multinationals, and its portfolio includes premium brands as well as private- and white-label products. Despite its leading status, the company hasn't been one to stop and smell the roses. Givaudan was stung by the global economic downturn in 2009 and saw slight sales drops in both its fragrance division (nearly 4%) and flavor division (2%). The firm aims to recover amid the tough business environment, however; it dedicated nearly 10% of its 2009 revenues to research and development and is working to add new clients.
Givaudan was busy pumping out new scents for its fine fragrance customers in 2009. The company created the following women's perfumes that year: Lola by Marc Jacobs for Coty; Hypnose Senses by Lancôme for L'Oréal; Anthology and Rose The One by Dolce & Gabbana for Proctor & Gamble; Ricci Ricci by Nina Ricci for Puig; and Pretty for Elizabeth Arden. Its fragrances for men included: CK Free by Calvin Klein for Coty; True Religion for New Wave Fragrances; D&G Anthology and Hugo Element by Hugo Boss for Procter & Gamble; and Kaiak Aventura Expedições for Natura.
Quality, not quantity, has been the keyword for Givaudan's flavor division as it pares down its portfolio to focus on high-value tastes. In 2008 the company sold its St. Louis-based food ingredient unit and production facility. The deal did not include the unit's vanilla extract and flavor business, which was retained. Givaudan also showed an interest in citrus that year when it partnered with the University of California Riverside. The company is working with the university, which cultivates more than 1,000 varieties of citrus plants, to evaluate a dozen new orange, lemon, and lime flavors. – less