Cargill enters European flavour scene

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Privately held company

Competition in European flavours heated up this week as Cargill,
the largest private company in the US, signed on the dotted line
for UK flavours group The Duckworth Group (TDG).

Marking the company's debut on the European flavours scene, the acquisition of the privately owned UK flavours and essences company provides Cargill with a neat springboard onto the UK market, as well as a wider product portfolio.

Annoucing the group's intentions last year, Robert Parmelee, president of Cargill's food system design unit, said: "A core component of Cargill's strategy is to become a world leader in integrating ingredients that play a vital role in the consumer sensory experience with foods and beverages."

Figures swapped for the deal were not disclosed, but Cargill said this week that TDG will continue to operate out of Manchester and Runcorn in the UK, and the current managing director, Mark Lewis, will stick to his post.

Up to now privately held by the Duckworth family, TDG has five business divisions - alcohol, confectionery, dairy, savoury and soft drinks - manufacturing flavours both in liquid and powder form and flavour emulsions and operations dotted around the world in the UK, Africa, China and India and South Africa.

The move marks the next step in Cargill's strategy to build upon its existing expertise by acquiring companies that have complementary skills in the development of unique products and services, said Cargill in a statement last year.

Although the US giant currently produces flavour carriers, texturisers, emulsifiers, functional ingredients, sweeteners and other speciality ingredients, it had not yet entered the European flavour business.

Leaders on the European flavours scene include Swiss flavours giant Givaudan, Danish ingredients leader Danisco and US company International Flavours and Fragrances, as well as new kid on the block, investment group-owned Symrise.

The US and western Europe account for 58 per cent of the global market for the flavour and fragrance industry, according to market analysts Frost and Sullivan​. A highly competitive area of the food industry, flavours companies working in today's climate are looking towards new markets through product innovations.

Yesterday, Cargill reported a profit of $518 million for the second quarter, up from $314 million a year ago, with its global grain, oilseed, cocoa and starch and sweetener operations all showing improved results. But as the fallout from the first mad cow case in the US begins, pressure on current quarter figures for Cargill is stepping up with over 750 jobs already lost at its beef processing plants.

Related topics: Ingredients

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