The 50,000 square metre facility already employs more than 200 staff and has a total capacity of 40,000 tonnes. Commercial production is due to start in the coming months, and the plant is expected to be fully operational by the end of 2013, the company said, by which time it will employ about 300 staff.
Givaudan Flavours' president for Europe, Middle East and Africa Dan McCafferty said that the company chose to build the plant in Hungary because it is at the heart of central Eastern Europe, meaning it can serve customers more efficiently throughout the EMEA region.
"Demand for savoury flavours in emerging markets has risen sharply over recent years as a result of higher consumer demand for snacks and packaged foods and we predict that this trend will continue," he said. "...There are some broad trends driving the overall savoury category with some more specific trends driving the snacks category. Three interesting flavour trends for the snack segment include, experiential snacking, Health and Wellness and Natural."
McCafferty added that European firms increasingly are launching new products with a focus on their naturalness, while health and wellness has become a strong trend in both new product development and reformulation of traditional favourites.
Speaking at the ribbon cutting ceremony, Givaudan CEO Gilles Andrier said: “This new factory is the largest greenfield investment we have ever made and an important part of our growth strategy. This new site will strengthen our supply chain, enabling us to continue to expand our developing-market footprint and capture growth opportunities in culinary and snacks segments. The size and greater automation in material handling and compounding of the new Makó facility will help us meet customers’ needs as the scale and complexity of the savoury and snacks market continues to grow.”
In 2011, the savoury segment represented 35% of Givaudan’s global flavour sales.
The Makó site was chosen with the help of local and national Hungarian authorities, Givaudan said, and several local dignitaries were present at the opening ceremony, including State Secretary for Foreign Trade Péter Szijjártó and the mayor of Makó Dr. Péter Buzás.
As well as CEO Gilles Andrier, Givaudan’s chairman Jürg Witmer and Flavours president Mauricio Graber were also present at the ceremony.