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Givaudan S.A.
Company typePublic (Société Anonyme)
SMI component
IndustryFlavours and fragrance
HeadquartersVernier, canton of Geneva, Switzerland
Number of locations
166 Locations worldwide
Key people
Gilles Andrier, CEO Calvin Grieder, Chairman [1]
ProductsTaste & Wellbeing and Fragrance and Beauty
RevenueCHF 6.9 billion (2023)[2]
Number of employees
>16,263 (2023)

Givaudan (pronounced [ʒivodɑ̃]) is a Swiss multinational manufacturer of flavours, fragrances and active cosmetic ingredients. As of 2008, it was the world's largest company in the flavour and fragrance industries.[3]


The company's scents and flavours are developed for food and beverage makers, and also used in household goods, as well as grooming and personal care products and perfumes.

The company has two business areas:

  • Taste & Wellbeing offers flavours, taste, functional and nutritional solutions for the food industry (savoury, dairy, sweets and beverages).
  • Fragrance & Beauty creates fragrances and develop beauty and wellbeing solutions for personal care, fabric care, hygiene, home care, fine fragrances, and beauty.

Givaudan's flavours and fragrances are usually custom-made and sold under confidentiality agreements.[4] Givaudan uses ScentTrek, a technology that captures the chemical makeup of smell from living plants.[5] The company has locations in Europe, Africa and the Middle East, North America, Latin America and Asia Pacific.[6] In 2023, Givaudan had sales of CHF 6.9 billion. It is one of Switzerland's 30 biggest listed companies in terms of market capitalization. In 2021, Givaudan placed first on FoodTalks' Global Top 50 Food Flavours and Fragrances Companies list.[7]

The company’s purpose of ‘Creating for happier, healthier lives with love for nature. Let’s imagine together’ is focused in four domains: creations, nature, people and communities. The company's ambitions include doubling its business through creations that contribute to happier, healthier lives by 2030, becoming climate positive before 2050, becoming a leading employer for inclusion before 2025 and sourcing all materials and services in a way that protects the environment and people by 2030. Givaudan’s purpose goal areas are in line with its strategy and ambitions for 2025.

Givaudan is a member of the European Flavour Association.[8] Major competitors include Firmenich, International Flavors and Fragrances and Symrise.


From its historic roots in Grasse in 1768 to the acquisition of Custom Essence in 2021, Givaudan has pursued a historic policy of invention and acquisition, of creativity, passion and innovation, enriching the world of scents and taste. The company was founded as a perfumery company in 1895 in Lyon, France by Leon and Xavier Givaudan. In 1898, Givaudan moved to Geneva, Switzerland and constructed a factory in Vernier.[9][10][11] In 1946, Givaudan opened a perfumery school, which trained a third of the world's creative perfumers. In 1948 the company acquired Ersolko SA, which transitioned Givaudan also into the flavor industry.[12] In 1963, Givaudan was acquired by Roche and in 1964, Roche acquired one of Givaudan's competitors, Roure. Roure was founded in Grasse, France during 1820. In 1937 Roure created the first designer perfume: Shocking for Schiaparelli.[13][14] Givaudan's original United States fragrance headquarters, in Teaneck, New Jersey, was built in 1972 from a design by Der Scutt, architect of the Trump Tower.[15] The company later moved to East Hanover, New Jersey.[16]


In 1991 Givaudan and Roure were merged to form Givaudan-Roure.[17] Also in 1991, the company bought Fritzsche, Dodge and Olcott.[12] In 1997 Givaudan-Roure acquired another flavor company, Tastemaker, based in Cincinnati, Ohio. The merger made Givaudan the largest flavor company in the world.[12] In 2000 Givaudan-Roure was spun off by Roche as Givaudan and listed on the Swiss Stock Exchange (Code GIVN.VX) where it is part of the SMI, SLI and SPI.[17]


In 2002 Givaudan acquired FIS, the flavors division of Nestle,[18] for which Nestle received a 10% stake in the company.[19] The following year, Givaudan purchased the cheese flavor company IBF.[12] In 2004 the company expanded its operations in China, which had been in place since the 1990s.[20]

On 22 November 2006, Givaudan announced the acquisition of Quest International to be completed Q1 2007.[21][22][better source needed] On 21 February 2007, the EU approved the merger of Givaudan and Quest, clearing the final regulatory hurdle for the merger after the United States authorities approved the merger earlier in the month.[23] The merger deal closed on 2 March 2007. The acquisition makes Givaudan the global leader in both fine fragrances and consumer products; it was already the global leader in flavors and the acquisition of Quest International strengthens their position.[24] The acquisition of Quest boosted Givaudan's sales by 42% from CHF 2,909 million in 2006 to CHF 4,132 million in 2007.[25]

In 2013 Nestle sold its share in Givaudan for $1.3 billion.[19] By 2014 the company had about US$4.6 billion in revenues.[26] That year, the company had its first acquisition since Quest, purchasing Soliance.[27] Givaudan also released the TasteSolutions Richness line of flavors.[28] It also launched the Givaudan Foundation, and has a programme that works with patchouli and other grower collection networks to establish sustainable development practices, called the Innovative Naturals programme.[29][30]

Since 2014, Givaudan had acquired around 20 companies, among them Naturex, the cosmetics business of AMSilk, Albert Vieille, Fragrance Oils, and Golden Frog.

In 2022, Givaudan, the mechanical engineering company Bühler, and Migros wanted to open the Cultured Food Innovation Hub in Kemptthal. Research was also to be carried out there on cultivated meat.[31]

On March 7, 2023, Givaudan confirmed that it was the target of an industry-wide investigation by European and Swiss authorities. Investigators were looking into a possible cartel in the supply of fragrances and fragrance ingredients. Companies face fines as much as 10% of their global turnover for violating EU antitrust rules.[32]

Givaudan and the environment[edit]

On July 10, 1976, the Seveso accident, Italy's worst ecological disaster, released a toxic cloud into the atmosphere. Italy's highest court awarded moral damages to the residents for anxiety incurred. Givaudan, the parent company of ICMESA paid EUR103.9 million (US$90.3 million) in cleanup costs and compensation to those who suffered physical injuries as a result of the incident.[33]

Sustainability journey

Givaudan's current sustainability journey began in 2009, building on the company's 250 heritage. In 2010 Givaudan pronounced its support for the United Nations Global Compact and in 2015 it became a member of RE100; committing to 100% renewable electricity by 2025. As of the end of 2022, the company had attained 90% renewable electricity. In 2017 Givaudan set GHG emissions targets in line with the Science-Based Targets Initiative (SBTi) as well as committing to contribute to the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

In 2019, Givaudan announced a new approach to sustainability with the launch of its purpose; Creating for happier, healthier lives with love for nature. Let's imagine together', supported by targets and ambitions in the areas of creations, people, nature and communities. During 2019 Givaudan aligned its targets to the UN's Business Ambition for 1.5 degrees. As at the end of 2022, Givaudan had cut its scope 1 and 2 emissions by 35% compared with a baseline of 2015 and its scope 3 emissions by 1% in the same timeframe. In 2021 the company published its Human Rights Policy and further enhanced its approach to Responsible Sourcing with the launch of its Sourcing4Good programme. As of April 2022, there were 24 flagship projects running at the advanced (highest) level of this programme, including projects being delivered in collaboration with the Givaudan Foundation and with external partners such as Earthworm Foundation.

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ "Our Management".
  2. ^ "2021 Full Year Results - Givaudan".
  3. ^ "Flavor & Fragrance Industry - Top 10".
  4. ^ Katchadourian, Raffi (2009). "The Taste Makers". The New Yorker. No. 23 November. pp. 86–99.
  5. ^ Büscher, Bram; Davidov, Veronica (15 August 2013). The Ecotourism-Extraction Nexus. Routledge. ISBN 9781135945268 – via
  6. ^ "File Viewer | Givaudan".
  7. ^ Fu, Rice (6 April 2021). "2021年全球食用香精香料50强" [Global Top 50 Food Flavours and Fragrances Companies]. FoodTalks (in Chinese). Retrieved 29 January 2022.
  8. ^ "About EFFA". EFFA. Archived from the original on 8 April 2019. Retrieved 3 March 2018.
  9. ^ Wolfgang Legrum (2015). Riechstoffe, zwischen Gestank und Duft: Vorkommen, Eigenschaften und Anwendung von Riechstoffen und deren Gemischen. Springer-Verlag. p. 209. ISBN 9783658073107. Retrieved 22 April 2015.
  10. ^ Leading Sensory Innovation. Vol. 104. Chemical Engineering Progress. 2008. p. 77. Retrieved 22 April 2015.
  11. ^ Thom Votteler (2001). International Directory of Company Histories, Volume 43. St. James Press. p. 192. ISBN 9781558624610. Retrieved 22 April 2015.
  12. ^ a b c d Chris Rowley; Jayantee Saha; David Ang (2011). Succeed or Sink: Business Sustainability Under Globalisation. Elsevier. p. 72. ISBN 9781780633312. Retrieved 22 April 2015.
  13. ^ Bruno Ziglioli (2010). La mina vagante. Il disastro di Seveso e la solidarietà nazionale (in Italian). FrancoAngeli. p. 169. ISBN 9788856828672. Retrieved 22 April 2015.
  14. ^ Groom, N. (30 June 1997). New Perfume Handbook. Springer. ISBN 9780751404036 – via
  15. ^ Chadderdon, Lisa. "The Sweet Smell of Success: A building in Teaneck, New Jersey is the source of some of the world's most popular fragrances. Meet Givaudan Roure's perfumers, the 'ghostwriters' behind your favorite scents.", Fast Company (magazine), March 1998. Accessed 22 August 2007. "In fact, more than 30% of the world's fine perfumes for women can be traced to Givaudan Roure - and to an inconspicuous brick building set back from the street in suburban Teaneck, New Jersey. Inside the building, designed by Der Scutt (architect of the Trump Tower) and constructed in 1972, is an environment that fosters creativity."
  16. ^ Howard Prosnitz (26 November 2009). "Major Teaneck ratable remains vacant". North Jersey Record. Retrieved 22 April 2015.
  17. ^ a b David Rowe (2009). Chemistry and Technology of Flavours and Fragrances. John Wiley & Sons. p. 4. ISBN 9781405148078. Retrieved 22 April 2015.
  18. ^ "Nestlé drops Givaudan from balance sheet". Swiss Info. 6 December 2013. Retrieved 22 April 2015.
  19. ^ a b John Revill (6 December 2013). "Nestlé to Sell Its 10% Stake in Givaudan". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 22 April 2015.
  20. ^ Jean-François Tremblay (10 November 2004). "Givaudan Smells Opportunity in China". Chemical & Engineering News. Retrieved 23 April 2015.
  21. ^ "Givaudan - engage your senses". Archived from the original on 27 September 2007.
  22. ^ "CNBC Interview with CEO Gilles Andrier on Quest acquisition". Archived from the original on 14 September 2021. Retrieved 27 February 2007.
  23. ^ Anthony Fletcher (22 February 2007). "EC approves Givaudan's acquisition of Quest". Food Navigator.
  24. ^ "Quest acquisition closure". 2 March 2007. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007.
  25. ^ "Corporate publications" (PDF).
  26. ^ John Revill (29 January 2015). "Givaudan Scents Tough Conditions Continuing in 2015". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 23 April 2015.
  27. ^ "Givaudan buys France's Soliance in first acquisition since 2007". Reuters. 3 June 2014.
  28. ^ Sarah Hills (26 June 2014). "Givaudan breaks down flavour components for 'home-cooked' taste".
  29. ^ Lucy Whitehouse (12 June 2014). "Givaudan launches charitable foundation".
  30. ^ Deanna Utroske (20 January 2015). "Givaudan furthers patchouli collection network". USA.
  31. ^ "Riechstoffkonzern - Givaudan, Bühler und Migros spannen bei pflanzlichem «Fleisch» zusammen". (in German). 15 September 2021. Retrieved 27 July 2022.
  32. ^ Foo Yun Chee (7 March 2023). "EU, UK, Swiss probe suspected fragrance cartel, Givaudan confirms cooperation". Retrieved 30 May 2023.
  33. ^ "Victims of toxic cloud over Seveso entitled to "moral damages," claims could reach tens of millions of euros". Archived from the original on 4 November 2012. Retrieved 22 July 2010.

External links[edit]