Comax, which manufactures flavors (Natural, N&A and Artificial) and natural aroma chemicals for the food and beverage industry, has opened its newest plant in the Jiading section of Shanghai. The factory will serve the Chinese domestic market and the Pacific Rim.
China is spurring growth in the flavors market in Asia Pacific, a region slated to advance at about 7.3 percent, year on year, until 2008. This compares to western Europe and the US with 3.7 and 3.3 percent growth respectively.
Food sales in China took off in the mid 1990s rising from under 100 billion yuan ($12bn) in 1991 to well over 400 billion yuan ($47bn) just ten years later.
Driving the market is the increased spending power and changing eating habits of China's 1.3 billion people who are transforming the country's food sector, both domestically and in foreign trade.
Historically, flavors production has been dominated by the US, Japan and western Europe - in particular, France, the UK, Germany and Switzerland. But a recent report from Freedonia warns that up to 2008, these areas will lose market share to developing areas of the world, as the product range and demand expands.
In 2003, the US and western Europe had a 23 and 21 percent share of the market respectively, compared to Asia Pacific with about 30 percent.