Alternative Careers: Series I – Flavor Industry

The global economy is traveling through a transition phase. A transition wherein business models are evolving into creating newer ecosystems which never existed in the past. We are at the cusp of witnessing some of the most intriguing business models which are likely to dominate the near future. Under such a scenario, it is imperative for parents and students to evolve their thoughts to newer opportunities. A lateral thinking in this direction will help the new generation professionals to adopt new careers which never existed in the past.

This article created by Top Executive Search Firms In India attempts to bring to the forefront five such lucrative segments which can be explored by new age professionals and perhaps can be a career defining moment for them. Each of these segmented industries has a wider platform for impactful advancements and is still in their growing stages. Information about each of these developing sectors will be broken down into different series for your better understanding. The below information is a peek into one of the new age opportunities that can be adopted as a career.

FLAVOR INDUSTRY

Flavor industries are complex and country-specific. Its presence is global and can be characterized as highly technical, specialized and innovative. The market for flavor industry is niche, concentrated and highly competitive. A detailed study of the industry will give an insight into its relatable future.

History of Flavor & Fragrances

India has a strong and long history of making and using flavors through the use of natural products and ingredients for more than 1000 years. This inherent strength has passed through generations and been refined to adapt to the technological changes the industry has undergone in tune with the market requirements.

As per the public records literature on the flavor industry is only available after the mid-1900s. In the beginning of 1900, a growing number of food and beverages companies including Kellogg, Campbell soup, Coco-Cola and Pepsi-Cola created the demand for commercial flavors. The government had considered this as a luxury before its expansion after 1992. In the wake of the first Pure Food and Drugs Manufacturer, the early pioneers of the industry formalized their association and created the Flavoring Extract Manufacturers’ Association who are the forerunners of today’s flavor industry.

Definition of Flavor

The sensory impression of a food or substance is determined mainly by the chemical senses of taste. The trigeminal senses detect chemical irritants in the mouth and throat as well as temperature and texture are very important to the overall gist of flavor perception.

Flavourant is defined as a substance that gives another substance flavor and altering the essence of the product by causing it to be sweet, sour or tangy. These flavors are developed in laboratories by adding natural or artificial flavors which affect these senses. All flavors are a subtle mix of the five basic tastes – salty, sweet, bitter, sour and savory combined with the aromas that the foods give off. From a regulatory point of view, the flavorings are classified into three categories:

a) Natural flavoring substances

b) Natural identical flavoring substances

c) Artificial flavoring substances

Flavor industries are the ones responsible for creating variants of food flavors, processed food flavors, e.g. monosodium glutamate famously known as MSG is added to foods such as soups, sausages, noodles, etc. Flavor enhancers are also used in a wide range of other foods, drink, confectionery, bakery, dairy, etc.

Market Segmentation of Flavor Industry

The global consumption of flavors in India has been segregated into different food segments that are as follows:

BEVERAGE INDUSTRY

  • Soft Drinks
  • Alcohol Drinks
  • Hot Drinks, etc.

FOOD INDUSTRY

  • Confectionery - Sweets, Chocolates, Candies, jam, jellies, chewing gums, Indian sweets, etc.
  • Dairy & Meat Products - Milk, Yoghurt, Frozen food, Ice creams, Cheese, Red Foods, Venky’s, etc.
  • Bakery and Processed Foods - Cakes, Flavored breads, Biscuits, Meat, Soups, Noodles, etc.
  • Savoury - Chips, Namkeen, Snacks, etc.

FEED INDUSTRY

  • Pet Food
  • Farm Animal Feed, etc.

TOBACCO

  • Cigarette (Smoking)
  • Gutka (Chewing)
  • Gudaku (Oral application)
  • Pan Masala (Chewing)

PHARMACUETICAL INDUSTRY

  • Medicines
  • Health Food Supplements
  • Mouth care (Toothpaste, Tooth powder, Mouth rinse, Mouth Fresheners, Lip gel, Lipsticks, etc.)

According to Taksago R&D department documentations of 2011 CY market share report distribution representations as provided in Table 1.1 & Chart 1.2 shows that the beverage industry still holds a strong dominance as compared to other food segments.

Table 1.1

Categories

CY 2009

CY 2011

CY 2014

Growth Rate

Beverage

90.1

112.0

155.2

11.5%

Confectionery

25.1

30.9

42.2

11.0%

Bakery

21.3

23.8

28.0

5.6%

Snacks

9.6

11.7

15.9

10.5%

Savoury

17.9

22.6

32.0

12.4%

Meat

12.7

16.4

24.1

13.8%

Dairy

19.5

236

31.4

10.0%

Oral Care/

Pharmaceuticals

14.7

17.3

22.1

8.4%

Others

23.6

25.9

29.7

4.7%

Total

2345

2842

3806

10.2%

Chart 1.2

The food flavor market in India is valued at around Rs 1350 crore. The growth of flavor consumption in other areas are 10% and the bakery segment is 9% and has been dipping compared to other food segments at about three to four percent, due to traditional small and craft bakers using more natural fruit based products which result in lower direct usage of flavors.

A recent study conducted on 20th April 2015 by Mergeralpha shows that international houses account for about 70% of the organized Indian market while Indian companies cater to the rest of the market.

Career Prospects

Placement agencies in Mumbai state that the industry comprises of different positions at different levels in the organization. Here is a list of roles and positions that are in demand in this line/industry in India.

Junior Level

Mid Level

Senior Level

  • Trainee Flavorist
  • Executive for Flavor Sourcing
  • Key Account Executive
  • R&D Chemist
  • Quality Assurance and Quality Control (QA & QC)
  • Consumer Insight Manager
  • Application Manager
  • Key Account Manger Distribution
  • Regulatory Head
  • Operations Manager
  • Factory Manager
  • Application Manager – Dairy
  • Account Manager – Flavors
  • Senior Executive for Flavor Sourcing
  • Senior Perfumer
  • Senior Food Technologist
  • Senior Flavorist
  • Flavor Portfolio Specialist
  • Country Director – Flavors
  • Senior Marketing Manager
  • Technical Head
  • Regional Technical Head
  • Flavor Science
  • Marketing Director

The international industry demands positions similar roles like:-

Food Technologists

Food Chemist

Food Scientist

Commercial Director

Product Manager

Beverage Application Technologist

Processing Engineer

Toxicologist

Production Laboratory Assistant

And many such positions are available for candidates looking to make a future in this field. The senior executives ideally earn anything between 10 lakhs to 1 crore in the flavoring industry. “There are no limitations as such since, this is a booming industry and some areas of the field still need to be explored”, said one of the Top recruitment firms in Mumbai.

Future Trends

The growth prospects of the industry predict that flavor consumption in all the food segments is further expected to grow significantly due to increasing consumption of processed foods in India. Food and beverage industry will continue to remain the key motivators. Bakery goods as compared to soft drinks, oral care products, savory foods and processed foods will be lower in consumption.

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