Givaudan’s treks take our teams beyond the confines of laboratories, kitchens and offices to discover insights that lead to the creation of new food experiences.
We know from experience that the greatest inspirations lie in the sights, sounds, flavours and aromas of the outside world. From France to the Far East, Givaudan’s treks give our people the opportunity to roam the globe, exploring nature, cuisines and – for beverages – some of the world’s most exciting bars!
Journeys of exploration
The world’s appetite for new flavour sensations knows no bounds, and only increases over time. That’s why Givaudan has always kept 'discovery' high on the priority list. Our aim is to explore, discover, identify and capture the unexpected, locating ingredients, foods and beverages, which can be translated into unique and distinctive flavours for our customers’ brands.
Givaudan’s discovery treks is actually a family of programmes that includes TasteTrek®, CulinaryTrek®, ConsumerTrek® and BarTrek®. We take a well-honed methodical approach to each trek that results in quality insights. As these findings are much more than anecdotal, they form the basis for new concept developments from our multidisciplinary team of flavourists, technologists, chefs and application specialists, who all go into the field to trek and explore.
TasteTrek® in the great outdoors
TasteTrek® is about going off the beaten track to discover the unusual, or heading to remote places that are famous for a specific ingredient. The aim is to discover new ingredients and varietals never before used in flavour creation. To date, our TasteTrek® journeys have taken us to Gabon, Madagascar, Asia, Latin America and China, among many other destinations.
We go to great lengths to find that rarest of flavour molecules. In Gabon and Madagascar, we used a hot-air dirigible in order to airlift samples from the rainforest canopy, discovering species and ingredients people had never tasted before.
CulinaryTrek® to the stove
As you might expect, CulinaryTrek® swaps the unfamiliar terrain of the exotic outdoors for the more familiar comforts of the world’s kitchens. For example, when Givaudan put together its TasteEssentials® Chicken range, we visited no less than 40 restaurants in 12 different cities, in 10 countries to get a close look at how chicken is used in a wide variety of cuisines. It’s not just the high-end restaurants we looked at either, everything from Michelin-starred fine dining to quick-serve restaurants grilling authentic local dishes were considered, adding to the mix of what chicken means to the world.
Other CulinaryTrek® events have brought us to South America looking at different ways in which beef is prepared, to Japan for an umami trek, and on into France and China; even New York City has had its own trek exploration. Together with programmes such as Givaudan’s Chef’s Council, treks enable us to gain deep insights into cooking trends and traditions, from the people who prepare exquisite tasting foods at a very local level.
ConsumerTrek® to listen
Through our ConsumerTrek® programme, our Consumer and Sensory Insights teams work directly with consumers to help determine preferences in flavours. To quickly and easily provide consumers with aroma samples for evaluation, we often use our SmartTools. This portfolio of tools includes the Virtual Aroma Synthesizer® (VAS), a revolutionary tool used to reach target profiles fast, and the VAS Air. These tools also allow us to gather consumer insights on aroma using digital technology.
BarTrek® to tap into new trends
We also look closely at the flavours and ingredients being served today in some of the world’s trendiest bars, to see how we can bring innovation to the ready-to-drink cocktails and flavoured alcoholic beverages segment. Our ‘mixologists’ know no bounds in understanding what flavours blend well, identifying beverages that will prove to be 'movers and shakers'.
The future starts here
Givaudan’s treks not only take in geographic journeys, but journeys of the mind, away from the familiar towards new ways of thinking. And, wherever we roam next, you’ll soon get a flavour of it.