The seasonings-to-sauces supplier counts QSR, food processors, retail and food service companies among its customers.
“We aim for double digit growth in revenues and even more so on the bottom line,” Hans Schinck, VP sales and marketing, revealed.
This, he said, will be achieved by leveraging Griffith's technical strengths in what it has identified as a key area for development: health and nutrition. To this end, Griffith is stepping up its research and innovation spend with 'significant investment' in the coming years.
“We believe we can utilise our strengths in culinary, sensory and food science to produce both bespoke products and more generic concepts with a real emphasis on health and nutrition. In this process, we focus on delivering consistently high quality, whilst helping our customers increase their speed to market.”
Health and nutrition offers ‘extraordinary growth’
Schinck claimed that innovation starts with ‘a culture that is deeply embedded’ in a process of continuous creation.
Of the health and nutrition space, Schinck said: “We see extraordinary opportunities to grow and secure more market share in the health and nutrition space, which is core to our strategy and very much in line with market demand and direction.”
The company is introducing a number of new concepts that it believes will drive growth in this category. “We have developed a low, no sodium tool kit that can reduce levels from 50-to-70-to even 100% as a recent example of working innovation.”
At the recent Snackex 2019 trade show, Griffiths showcased its sodium reduction up to 'no added sodium' snacks as well as sugar reduction solutions with sodium reduced ‘Black Garlic Sweet Chili’ crisps, no added sodium ‘Thai Green Curry’ balls and sugar reduced dipping sauces such as ‘Harissa ras’el hanout’.
While salt and sugar reduction or elimination are ‘central’ to Griffith's offer, this must now come with additional functional or sensorial properties. “They must also be supported by other concepts such as fibre and or protein fortification and clear labelling, ensuring that real value add is passed on to customers and consumers alike,” Schinck noted.
“Our real expertise lies in delivering great taste and texture, whilst dramatically improving the nutritional profile of our products. We passionately believe we have a responsibility to provide healthy choices to help everyone on the path to wellbeing and we hope a happier lifestyle.”
Customer value ‘key to margins’
If Griffith's plans to double the top line seem ambitious, the group’s target to grow profitability ahead of sales – while maintaining investment in innovation and capabilities – is somewhat bullish.
Schinck said the key to success for Griffith was working alongside its customers for the mutual benefit of all parties.
“We need to continuously focus on supporting our customers’ growth…Providing concrete customer value is key to strengthening margins. This is exactly why we invest in innovation, and in strengthening those core capabilities that our customers appreciate: consumer insights, sensory, culinary and sustainability.
“We are also building out new capabilities specifically in shared value, leveraged technology, partnerships and ecosystems. Our partners will be key to knowledge sharing so we can tap into their expertise to better manage our new offer and range, sharpen our market expansion and ensure we are more competitive."
And, as a medium-sized fish in a pond full of whales, for Griffith, size is important. “We are agile enough to assist customers with smaller volumes. For example, in a start-up phase of a new product launch. [We are also] sizable enough to efficiently produce and supply large volumes.”
The company is also strengthening its product mix by shifting sales to higher-value, higher-margin, ingredients.
Schinck explained: “Strengthening our product mix by adding innovative and value-added products is certainly part of our strategy. For example: our recently launched Sodium Flex and the Sugar Flex toolkits allow us and our customers to respond to changing market circumstances and consumer preferences. Reducing or eliminating added sodium or sugar (respectively) is obviously of value to the end consumer, especially if the product still provides great taste and texture.”
In terms of market exposure, potentially expensive forays into new markets are not currently on the agenda. Rather, the group sees ‘lots of opportunity’ in its existing markets to drive market share. These, Schinck revealed, include the UK, Ireland and mainland Europe. Further afield, he continued, “Eastern Europe and specifically Russia remain an important and sophisticating market and one we regard as a genuine growth driver.”