Givaudan ([ʒivodɑ̃]) is a Swiss manufacturer of flavors, fragrances and active cosmetic ingredients. As of 2008, it is the world's largest company in the flavor and fragrance industries.
The company's scents and flavors are developed for food and beverage makers, and also used in household goods, as well as grooming and personal care products and perfumes. Givaudan’s flavors and fragrances are usually custom-made and sold under confidentiality agreements. Givaudan uses ScentTrek, a technology that captures the chemical makeup of smell from living plants. The company has locations in Europe, Africa and the Middle East, North America, Latin America as well as Asia Pacific. In 2016, Givaudan had sales of CHF 4,7 billion with an overall market share of 25%. It is one of Switzerland’s 30 biggest listed companies in terms of market capitalization. In 2016, CHF 400 million of its sales were reinvested in R&D.
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 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. 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: Schocking for Schiaparelli. 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. The company later moved to East Hanover, NJ.
In 1991 Givaudan and Roure were merged to form Givaudan-Roure. Also in 1991, the company bought Fritzsche, Dodge and Olcott. In 1997 Givaudan-Roure acquired another flavor company, Tastemaker, based in Cincinnati (USA). The merger made Givaudan the largest flavor company in the world. 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, for which Nestle received a 10% stake in the company. The following year Givaudan purchased the cheese flavor company IBF. In 2004 the company expanded its operations in China, which had been in place since the 1990s.
On 22 November 2006, Givaudan announced the acquisition of Quest International to be completed Q1 2007. 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. 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. The acquisition of Quest boosted Givaudan's sales by 42% from CHF 2,909 million in 2006 to CHF 4,132 million in 2007.
In 2013 Nestle sold its share in Givaudan for $1.3 billion. By 2014 the company had about $4.6 USD billion in revenues. That year the company had its first acquisition since Quest, purchasing Soliance. Givaudan also released the TasteSolutions Richness line of flavors. It also launched the Givaudan Foundation, and has a program that works with patchouli and other grower collection networks to establish sustainable development practices, called the Innovative Naturals program.
On July 10, 1976 the Seveso disaster, 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. In the 2000s, Givaudan partnered with local communities in Guam, where the local crop of gum is used as an export business. The partnership supports sustainability efforts in the trade of benzoin. These efforts included the building of two secondary schools in the region to institute formal education for the children of the region. They also work with the local communities on forest preservation.