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Maverick Innovations bets British to secure US expansion

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By Kacey Culliney+

21-Jul-2014
Last updated on 22-Jul-2014 at 11:41 GMT

Maverick Innovations hopes to woo US customers with its range of 'very British' flavors, including banana & custard
Maverick Innovations hopes to woo US customers with its range of 'very British' flavors, including banana & custard

UK flavor house Maverick Innovations will set up a US manufacturing hub in the next five years; bolstering its presence with British flavors like banana and custard, its CEO says.

Maverick Innovations – a subsidiary of UK-based Omega Ingredients – has been conducting business in the US since last year through its partnership with The Ingredient House. However, company CEO Steve Pearce said it was ready to strengthen its hold there.

“I would certainly hope we’d be manufacturing here within five years,” he told BakeryandSnacks.com at last month’s IFT show in New Orleans.

The company already has a small hub in North Carolina – a lab, warehouse and office space – but it is only being used for storage...for now.

“As the US market is growing, we’re holding more and more stock here. We’re putting a lot of effort and investment into having stock there."

The company's range of natural flavor extracts and concentrates can be used in a variety of products, from bakery and breakfast cereals through to beverages and ice cream.

Niche, British appeal

Maverick Innovations’ extensive portfolio held appeal, Pearce said, particularly because of its variety of British flavors – from banana & custard and Eton mess to British-sourced rhubarb, strawberry and apple. These, he said, proved popular in the US because they were “different”. 

“There’s an apple pie flavor – they understand that – but there may be others they don’t have a laugh at, like bananas and custard. Sticky toffee pudding they know very well; Eton mess takes a bit of explaining."

“… We see that as a point of difference for a lot of customers in the US; they’re not seeing these types of flavors from others.”

Legislation know-how

Pearce said that regulations on flavor use in the US were inching toward stricter European Union laws on provenance and raw material sourcing.

“We’re hearing from more and more of the food companies that the FDA and TTB [The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau] - which covers the legislation on the alcohol side - are getting closer and closer to flavor legislation as it is in Europe. So the companies here are going to need somebody who really understands how to put flavors together to meet these controls.”

Pearce added there was surging demand for natural flavors in the US.

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