Headquartered in Israel, Frutarom produces over 70,000 products for the food, beverage, flavour, fragrance, pharmaceutical, nutraceutical and cosmetic industries. The company distributes its products to more than 30,000 customers in over 150 countries around the world.
In October 2018, Frutarom was acquired by the New York-based International Flavors & Fragrances Inc (IFF). “This is a huge milestone for us,” says Dr. Raimund Hoenes, General Manager for Frutarom Health, a division of Frutarom. “Through IFF, we will gain additional resources, a greater global reach, and access to enhanced R&D capabilities.”
Frutarom Health specializes in plant extracts and other natural ingredients that are used mainly in supplements, although they are also used as food ingredients. Dr. Hoenes is passionate about the benefits of such products.
“I joined Frutarom Health in 2017, so I am a relative newcomer to the company, but I am a veteran in the industry,” he says. “One of the really interesting things about this sector is that our day-to-day work improves the lives of millions of consumers; our products have a very positive impact on their health. This is what has motivated me to remain in the industry for over 25 years. What really interests me about Frutarom is its extract products, which are created from the best parts from the plants and are highly concentrated.”
Frutarom Health uses hundreds of different plants to produce its core range of ten to twelve ingredients, which support health in eight distinct categories: bones and joints, cardiovascular, cognitive, digestive, immune, and urinary health, as well as antioxidants, and slimming and detox.
Consumers are investing in their health, which offers a good return for them and provides us with a foundation for growth. Dr. Raimund HoenesGeneral Manager
Products include pumpkin extract, beneficial for the urinary tract, Nuravena®, an oat extract which enhances mental performance, and SharpPS®, a product, which improves brain activity and sleep. INFAT®, a liquid product used in infant formula to modify fat composition for optimal absorption of nutrients, is a global market leader.
Effectiveness and quality are of paramount importance. “We put a huge amount of effort into clinical trials to prove the effectiveness of our main products,” notes Dr. Hoenes. “Our core ingredients are all branded, and adhere to global standards. Other companies in the market make similar products, but we differentiate ourselves through our European origin. Many ingredients are produced in Asia, where quality standards are not as strict. We have contracted growers for the plants we use, and have full traceability at every stage. We pride ourselves on the control we have over our supply chain.”
Sustainability is a very important aspect of Frutarom’s business, and plants it uses are renewable sources. “Our products are very sustainable, a huge advantage over chemical products,” underlines Dr. Hoenes. “We use water, alcohol and other natural solvents for the extraction process. This means that the extracts are pure, and the biomass that remains is also uncontaminated and can be used as compost on the fields.”
Some of the company’s products are organic, while others are produced from wild harvests – not certified organic but grown naturally and harvested by hand. Frutarom is a B2B supplier, providing products to a wide range of different industries.
Frutarom Health’s core market is the pharmaceutical industry, where its ingredients are used in over-the-counter medicines and health supplements, mainly in the form of tablets and capsules. Business in the food and beverage sector is a growing market for the company as consumers actively seek more natural food products.
While Frutarom is active globally, Europe is historically its biggest market. Asia, however, is catching up fast. “Our high-quality European plant products are resonating with Asian consumers,” the General Manager says. “We have a long-standing presence in the region, and we differentiate ourselves through our clinically tested products; many of the traditional products in Asia are completely untested.”
Growth is high on Frutarom’s agenda; its strategy is a classic combination of new product development and expansion into new markets. Products are sold worldwide through a wide range of channels, and clinical trials enable permitted uses of Frutarom’s ingredients to be expanded into new product areas.
New products are continually developed and existing ones modified. “There is a huge push right now to further reduce levels of contaminants in plants,” Dr. Hoenes points out. “You have to make sure that what you use is pure. We are developing technology to further eliminate those contaminants.”
Health seems set to remain in focus. The population is ageing, and prevention – good diet, more exercise – is becoming a priority. The trend is towards natural, plant-based products. “We are part of a holistic approach,” Dr. Hoenes sums up. “Consumers are investing in their health, which offers a good return for them and provides us with a foundation for growth. Through IFF, we will increase our R&D activities to develop new products. The Frutarom team is fully committed to supporting the burgeoning health industry.”