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Givaudan S.A.
Traded as SIXGIVN
Industry Flavors and Fragrance
Founded 1895
Headquarters Vernier, Switzerland
Key people
Gilles Andrier, CEO[1]
Products Flavors and Fragrances
Revenue CHF 3,900 million (2011)
Number of employees
8,913 (2011)

Givaudan (pronounced: [ʒivodɑ̃]) is a Swiss manufacturer of flavorings and fragrances. As of 2008, it is the world's largest company in the industry.[2]


The company's scents and flavors are developed most often for food and beverage makers, but they are also used frequently in household goods, as well as grooming and personal care products. Givaudan’s flavors and solutions are usually custom-made and, like their competitors' formulas, always sold under strict confidentiality agreements.[3]

In 2011, Givaudan had sales of CHF 3.9 billion with an overall market share of 25%. It is one of Switzerland’s 30 biggest listed companies in terms of market capitalization. In 2011, 7.5% of its sales were reinvested in R&D.[4] The company has a leading presence in all major markets and operates through a network of more than 40 subsidiaries in the mature and emerging markets of Europe, Africa and the Middle East, North America, Latin America as well as Asia Pacific. Major competitors include Firmenich, International Flavors and Fragrances and Symrise.


Givaudan was founded as a perfumery company in 1895 in Zurich (Switzerland) by Leon and Xavier Givaudan, although some parts of the modern company date back as far as 1796. In 1898 Givaudan moved to Geneva (Switzerland) and constructed a factory in Vernier. In the 1960s, Givaudan entered the flavor business at a time when changing lifestyles was fueling an increased demand for easy-to-prepare meals.[citation needed]

In 1937 Givaudan's predecessor Roure created the first designer perfume: Schocking for Schiaparelli.[citation needed]

In 1963, Givaudan was acquired by Roche and in 1964, Roche acquired one of Givaudan's competitors, Roure. Both companies flourished independently under Roche until 1991 when Givaudan and Roure were merged to form Givaudan-Roure. Also in 1991, the company bought Fritzsche, Dodge and Olcott, a US-based flavor and fragrance company, whose origins date back to the late 18th century. In 1997 Givaudan-Roure acquired another flavor company, Tastemaker, based in Cincinnati (USA). The merger made Givaudan the largest flavor company in the world and the Tastemaker facility in Cincinnati became Givaudan's new headquarters for its flavor business. In 2000 Givaudan-Roure was spun off by its parent company as Givaudan and listed on the Swiss Stock Exchange (Code GIVN.VX) where it is part of the SLI. In 2002 Givaudan acquired FIS the flavors division of Nestle.[citation needed]

On 10 July 1976 at around 12:37 pm the Seveso disaster occurred in a small industrial plant, located in Meda. The industrial plant was owned by the company ICMESA (Industrie Chimiche Meda Società Azionaria), a subsidiary of Givaudan. On 24 February 2002, it was reported by AP Worldstream, that Italy's highest court ruled that residents exposed to a toxic cloud who did not suffer physical injuries are entitled to "moral damages" for the anxiety they went through. Givaudan, the parent company of ICMESA, has already reportedly 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.[5]

On 22 November 2006, Givaudan announced the acquisition of Quest International to be completed Q1 2007.[6][7] 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.[8] 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.[9] The acquisition of Quest boosted Givaudan's sales by 42% from CHF 2,909 million in 2006 to CHF 4,132 million in 2007.[10]

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.[11] The company outgrew the Teaneck, NJ building and has since moved to East Hanover, NJ.[citation needed]

In 2008, Givaudan released one of the world's first mobile perfume recommendation tools, the iPerfumer app.[citation needed]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^
  2. ^ Leffingwell & Associates Flavor & Fragrance Industry Leaders
  3. ^ Katchadourian, Raffi (2009). "The Taste Makers". The New Yorker (Condé Nast) (23 November): 86–99. 
  4. ^ [1]
  5. ^
  6. ^ Quest acquisition announcement
  7. ^ CNBC Interview with CEO Gilles Andrier on Quest acquisition
  8. ^ EU approval for merger.
  9. ^ Quest acquisition closure.
  10. ^ 2007 Annual Report
  11. ^ 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."

External links[edit]