The role of global partnerships in making India the next epicentre for beverage development
Attributing the success of his vision to global partnerships, the founder of Flavorman explains his reasons for focusing on India, and why he thinks the country has the makings of a global hot spot for beverages.
When I founded Flavorman in 1992, it was with the ambitious vision to change what the world is drinking. From the very beginning, I recognised the need to think globally and I wasn’t naive enough to think that I could do it alone – I knew that strong, global partnerships would be the key to making this dream a reality. To this day, Flavorman continues to operate under a philosophy that keeps client and vendor relationships at the core of our business.
In our almost 30 years in beverage development, Flavorman has enjoyed relationships with clients from Mumbai to Miami. We’ve built an international reputation as leaders in the industry, and because we continue to make client relationships a priority, we’re able to be active drivers in their success. This often involves meeting our clients – quite literally – where they are. That’s why Flavorman is committed to, not only changing what the world is drinking but also being proactive about working with the world to do it.
As the ambassadors of Flavorman’s ongoing international strategy, Flavorman’s Relationship Architect & International Sales Lead, Matt Madden, and I share a commitment to this vision. That’s why we’re continuing to establish and strengthen Flavorman’s global partnerships, expand our international footprint, and venture into what we recognise as the next epicentre of beverage development – India.
India – the next epicentre of beverage development
I was recently inspired by a story Matt shared about his time working with the US Department of State prior to joining us at Flavorman. While travelling and meeting dignitaries, entrepreneurs, and civic leaders from around the world, Matt would always ask them to think of a word that best described their country, people, or culture. For India, he would get words like “colour,” “noise,” and “flavour” – each of which stimulate the senses, much like a tasty beverage. This is part of what makes India so exciting to me, personally: the opportunity for Flavorman to capture this variety of sensations and experiences in the next generation of beverages.
Whether its developing fresh flavours, experimenting with new ingredients like CBD or innovating the next trending drink category, Flavorman has always made it a point to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to the beverage business. Where are the global hubs of beverage development? What flavours, consumer insights, or regulations are shaping the beverage industry right now? How will this affect the next five years? These are just some of the questions we seek answers to when looking for the next beverage development hub. And over the last several years, as we’ve been watching international trends in the beverage industry and tracking our incoming Requests for Information (RFIs), it has become clear to us that – like the Philippines, Australia, and South Africa – India is quickly becoming a global hot spot for beverages.
According to data giant Statista, in 2016, the market value of India’s non-alcoholic sector alone was around 16 per cent greater than the previous year, and it’s estimated to continue this steady increase at a rate of about 17 per cent through 2021. In addition to this forecast, India boasts one of the fastest growing democracies and economies in the world. And despite lacking a free trade agreement, India has an excellent relationship with the US, where Flavorman is headquartered. It’s also a country where English is a predominant language, and because Flavorman is equipped only to do business with English speakers at this time, that means we can work with most of the Indian companies and clients that come to us.
But as Matt’s survey demonstrates, the most compelling reason to partner with India is that it is a country of flavours. With a diversity of spices, aromas, and ingredients, India presents an exciting frontier for beverages. And because Flavorman specialises in developing custom flavours and beverages, we know we’re the best partners for the challenges that lay ahead for companies and entrepreneurs seeking to create authentically Indian drinks.
Flavorman’s commitment to global partnerships
We recognise the value of having people on the ground in the places where we want to do business. We see every visit as an opportunity to build relationships, build our brand, and build on our expertise in flavours.
Last year, I was privileged to visit New Delhi and meet with a handful of Indian clients and potential clients. From this experience, I saw first-hand how India was no different than any other country we work in – including the US – in that entrepreneurs interested in breaking into the beverage industry most often don’t have all of the skills it takes to put a beverage product together, from start through finish. They often have the sales and marketing expertise, but not the technical and manufacturing expertise needed to put forth a consistent, high-quality, and tasty product. And that’s okay, because just like all of the other markets we work in, Flavorman is attentive to going the extra mile of educating clients throughout the development process. Our beverages and flavours are custom, and so are our services.
The closer we work with our clients, the greater the chance of success. Through that relationship, we can ensure that we’re delivering what each client wants and expects, while also providing the guidance and expertise we know they’ll need to be successful in the beverage business.
Paired with our creative spirit, expertise, and tried-and-true development process, Flavorman is committed to becoming even more engaged in the international market and helping entrepreneurs from every corner of the globe bring their dream drinks to life. As India continues to experience unprecedented growth in the beverage sector, I am excited for Flavorman to partner with Indian companies and entrepreneurs that share our dream of changing what the world is drinking.
David Dafoe is the Founder and CEO of Flavorman, a custom beverage development company located in Louisville, Kentucky, USA.