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Knowledge Leader Company Spotlight: International Flavors & Fragrances

Knowledge Leader Company Spotlight: International Flavors & Fragrances by Eric Bush, CFA, Gavekal Capital Blog

International Flavors & Fragrances is a “leading global creator of flavors and fragrances used in a wide variety of consumer products”. IFF produces fragrances used in perfumes, cosmetics, and fabrics among other personal and household products and is also a global leader in creating flavors for beverages, sweet goods, savory and dairy products around the world. IFF currently has the second largest market shares in the $18 billion flavor and fragrance market and has a longstanding history of profitability as it has been in business for 126 years. While headquartered in New York, IFF is truly a global company as 79% of IFF’s sales come from outside of the United States. IFF has 29 manufacturing facilities that serve customers and consumer in over 100 countries.

At the recent Barclays PLC (NYSE:BCS) (LON:BARC) Global Consumer Staples Conference in Boston, new CFO Alison Cornell touched on several keys to success for IFF. Not surprisingly for those that study innovation and growth, intangible investments such as research & development (R&D) and firm-specific resources play a critical role in their recently implemented Vision 2020 strategy “which focus on building greater differentiation, accelerating profitable growth, and increasing shareholder value” (source: Call Street transcript for Barclays Global Consumer Staples Conference in Boston). Vision 2020 has four pillars: 1) win where we compete 2) innovate first 3) become their customers’ partner of choice and 4) strengthen...