innotaste has found its position in a market that is dominated by large players. “But we don’t really compete with them,” stresses Managing Director Andreas Schockhoven, one of the founders who established the company as a subsidiary of C.H.Erbslöh group in 2004. “We are simply different and act where we see an added value. We were never keen to do many things just fine but instead do a few things extremely well. This is our niche – a niche where we stand out.”
Indeed, innotaste does things very well. The product range features high-quality food ingredients that are constantly being adapted to the needs of clients. Its flavours add a special, natural taste to hot drinks, soft drinks, sports and nutrition items, bakery and dairy products, cereals, desserts, confectionary, snacks, soups, sauces, meat alternatives and ready meals.
“Today’s consumers aim for more natural, authentic products, and natural ingredients are increasingly in demand,” emphasizes Mr. Schockhoven. “For this reason, they have become an important part of our portfolio that perfectly reflects this current trend. We’ve also added some more products such as protein alternatives, cheese powder, carotenoids, fillings and glazes.”
Not only its products have changed slightly; innotaste has also made some changes in terms of suppliers. “Since 2016, we have replaced two suppliers,” states Mr. Schockhoven. “It was a strategy-driven decision mirroring our vision to focus on a limited number of suppliers and on authentic natural products. We have never been interested in cooperating with a lot of suppliers but wanted to rely on a limited number sharing our ideas and philosophy.”
innotaste’s approach is a successful one. The company has grown constantly in recent years, counts 20 employees at its headquarters in Krefeld and in the Benelux, and generates sales of 16 million EUR. Further growth is expected. “It is difficult to define our market position clearly among the large players,” states Mr. Schockhoven. “Our products are complex and require explanation. As a result, we operate in a niche market where our product solutions have gained an excellent reputation.”
We are not interested in doing a lot of things just fine but instead focus on a few things that we do extremely well. Andreas SchockhovenManaging Director
innotaste’s innovative product range is highly regarded in Germany and abroad. The company’s internationalization is constantly progressing, particularly in Eastern Europe. “Poland has long been a crucial market for the group,” points out Mr. Schockhoven. “Our subsidiary in Warsaw now has seven employees focusing on food ingredients and its own application lab. Regional labs play an important role in launching products that capture the spirit of the times. With one lab in Germany, one in Poland and another in Hallein/Salzburg, Austria, the gateway to Eastern Europe with a team of ten local food-dedicated employees, we have the flexibility to adapt to local market needs. All our international affiliates are subsidiaries of the Erbslöh group.”
innotaste is keen to continue growing – in a healthy, organic way. Revenues of 20 million EUR within the next three to four years are within the realm of possibility. Customers, among them more and more innovative start-ups, appreciate the company’s customer-driven philosophy, flexibility, great responsiveness – and its excellent taste.