Ever realized that most of our day to day consumables like toothpaste, chewing gums, biscuits, cold drinks, jellies and more all rely on an essential ingredient - 'Flavouring' ?. What technically is also spelled as 'Concentrates' is at times is what is added to these products at the early production stage to give us that burst of lemon or mint or chocolate in a fruit juice packet or a pocket friendly spearmint gum.
So next time when you pick your choice of carbonated drink or methol flavoured toothpaste or even a cough syrup with a hint of mint in it, remember this note. I was given a guided tour at the office/lab of one of the top 5 flavor conceptualizing brands in the world - Wild Factory (also spelled as 'Wilde' in Germany).
Firstly, what is a flavor conceptualizing or expertise brand ? This kind of a business is linked to another business (B2B) and not to a consumer directly (B2C). So in simple words it means that the Concentrates made by WF is sold to a brand who is looking to spread it's portfolio of products with more flavors to it's customer base. This does not restrict them to just concentrates in liquid form but also in forms of Powders like the Tangs & Kool-Aids of the world. It is even responsible for delivering the Cream Cheese dusting you lick off your favourite Cream&Onion bag of chips.
Wild Flavours is a multinational company with labs & plants spread across various continents. One of the them is located in India at Tarapur which specializes in Peppermint & Spearmint Oils and Blends. The main operational headquarters is the one in Heidelberg-Eppelheim, Germany which is also responsible for the popular 40 year old juice brand 'Capri-Sun' or 'Capri-Sonne'. Recently Capri-Sonne started selling a flavour called the Multivitamin which is a blend of various fruits with 30% less sugar than the usual flavours. The German entrepreneur Rudolf Wild, Founder of Wild Company first developed 'Libella' in the 50s which went on to become a become popular drink. The Libella brand still exists, and also currently offers a cola product as well. Wild is currently owned by Dr. Hans-Peter Wild , Son of Rudolf Wild. Today, under Dr. Wild's leadership and guidance, Wild is one of the world's leading producers of natural ingredients to the food and beverage industry.
Similar to their labs in Europe, they have one here in Mumbai as well, in Andheri. The lab develops tons of flavours like Apple Nectar, Peach Nectar, Mango, Banana with coffee, Energy Drink, Mint with Lemon and a gazillion more that are contained inside a temperature controlled room. Not all of these will make to the final stage where a probable client is looking for the exact same combination. On the other hand they also develop concentrates based on requirements from the clients, i.e - If a electrolyte drink client is looking to launch a Apple-Beetroot-Carrot flavoured variation of it's drink, then they would handle this request to WF, who will develop this specific liquid concentrate in different ratios, taste test, seek approval, change ratios, repeat the cycle several times before reaching the desired taste set by the client. Once developed, tonnes of these concentrates will be shipped to this client, who will further incorporate the flavours at a certain percentage of dilution into their energy drink. More the dilution, lesser the actual nectar, more the artificial flavours and added sweetness.
It's an industry that plays a role in almost every product that's consumed by us on a daily basis. It's an eye opener to see how complex the process of extracting flavours from raw ingredients is and how they are then meticulously prepared to deliver us that perfect aroma or taste in that product we consume everyday, be it that bottle of sauce sitting your refrigerator right now or the mouthwash you will be use next morning.
For more information on Wild Flavors, follow the link : http://www.wildflavors.com/