Flavourtech’s SCC is the gold standard for aroma recovery
Leon Skaliotis, General Manager, Flavourtech Pty Ltd, explains how the company has helped its customers in F&B, dairy, flavour and pharmaceutical industries grow their market share by providing them the tools and knowledge to differentiate their products. He asserts that this has been the key driver for repeat business for Flavourtech, which accounts for around 30% of its annual revenue.
IBT: Tell us about the origins of Flavourtech Pty Ltd and the vision with which it was set up.
Leon Skaliotis: Flavourtech is a privately owned company based in regional New South Wales. It designs, manufactures, offers services and supports specialised processing equipment for the food (fruit & vegetable), beverage (coffee, tea, wine & beer), dairy, flavour and pharmaceutical industries world-wide. It conducts business in over 60 different countries and has built up its export business to account for over 90% of its annual sales revenue.
Flavourtech’s unique technology and innovative applications allow it to process these products in a very gentle manner through the use of steam and without the use of any chemicals or solvents. These solutions are customized to fit the specific requirements of customers in different regions across the world. This has necessitated the brand to implement global best practices in its design and manufacturing processes, as well as adapt its sales & marketing strategies to suit each of the regions it competes in.
IBT: What are the company’s key business segments within the food technology space, and what products/solutions do you provide?
Leon Skaliotis: The main industries that we operate in include:
- Tea & Coffee – The brand has been pioneering the development of aroma and flavour recovery technologies to improve the production of soluble (instant) coffee and Ready-to-drink (RTD) tea and coffee.
- Alcohol – Flavourtech’s technologies are used for a range of purposes, including dealcoholisation, alcohol adjustment, malt extract concentration, alcohol recovery from yeast in wine, beer and cider, grape juice concentration, and sulphur removal from grape juice.
- Flavour – Food and beverage manufacturers use Flavourtech’s Spinning Cone Column (SCC) to naturally extract the best flavours and aromas (using only low-pressure steam) from a wide range of products including fruits and vegetables, herbs, meat and seafood.
- Pharmaceuticals and nutraceuticals – A shift towards healthier lifestyles has dramatically increased the use of botanical-based nutraceuticals.
- Dairy – Removal of feed and transport flavours.
IBT: What are the core competitive advantages that you provide that differentiate you from the competition and have helped you successfully serve the food & beverage, dairy and pharmaceutical sectors?
Leon Skaliotis: Flavourtech’s success is attributed to the unique abilities of the spinning cone column (SCC) and centritherm evaporator to use very short residence times (25 and 1 second respectively) and low temperatures to produce higher quality products for their customers and allowing differentiation of their product offering. These unique characteristics are very important in many applications across the food & beverage, dairy, pharmaceutical and especially the coffee & tea industries, where the SCC has now become the “gold standard” for aroma recovery.
This technology is complemented by the Centritherm® range of evaporators that also utilise rotating cone technology, which requires only one second heat contact time for gentle evaporation of heat sensitive products. There is no other technology in the world that does this with such a short residence time and at such a low temperature.
Flavourtech is then able to combine these two technologies into one system called the Integrated Extraction System (IES), which is a fully automated, continuous processing line. Through an all-natural process utilising only steam under vacuum, the product being processed is not damaged.
The key differentiator for the company is not only its unique technology for improved end-product quality, but also the expertise to customise the best possible solution for any given application. It does this by employing a team of chemical and process engineers who can design the optimal operating parameters for any given product, thereby customizing a solution to meet the customer’s requirements.
This allows Flavourtech’s customers to grow their market share by having the tools and knowledge to differentiate their products. As their business grows they return to purchase more from Flavourtech. Repeat customer business now accounts for approximately 30% of Flavourtech’s annual revenue.
IBT: What has been the role of innovation in your success so far?
Leon Skaliotis: It is vitally important that we provide customers with the confidence that they are dealing with a company that is experienced and large enough to support them long term. Flavourtech, therefore, needs to continually build on the strength of its brand and reputation as well as continue to innovate.
The R&D team and pilot plants that are situated around the world, not only demonstrate advanced technologies to customers, but also allow the brand to work together with them on new applications specific to their products.
IBT: How are you planning to expand in terms of product segments, new markets, end user segments, etc?
Leon Skaliotis: The marketing strategy is aligned with Flavourtech’s competitive advantage that is dependent on its ability to form long term relationships with the customers by focusing on ways of improving their business. It is able to show them the financial impact of their decision by providing them with financial impact models.
It achieves this by working very closely with them to understand their business needs, in order to propose better solutions than they may have achieved in isolation. Sometimes, this may involve the creation of a new product or modifying or improving an existing product. At other times it may mean improving their operational efficiency through increased automation, reducing waste or lowering their energy consumption.
Finally, Flavourtech ensures that customers realise these benefits for many years to come, by providing them with on-going service and technical support through its Total Care Plan maintenance program and our Technical Support Hotline. This ensures that they remain fully satisfied long term, and thereby are more likely to buy from us again in future, creating a ‘Customer for Life’.
IBT: How do you see the growth trend and potential in your industry, as well as the technology roadmap that it could follow in future? How are you preparing for it as a company?
Leon Skaliotis: In order for Flavourtech to keep up to date with the latest developments in the global market, it has staff permanently located in various countries around the world including:
– Sales, support, service and pilot plant in the United Kingdom
– India: Territory Manager and service technicians
– North America: Sales, service and pilot planta
– South America: Sales and service staff
As 92% of the orders are from overseas, every employee has frequent dealings with overseas customers. This allows us to stay in tune with current and future requirements of customers and trends that are happening in the industry worldwide.
IBT: How do you view India’s competitiveness globally in the foodtech industry, and how it has improved over the years? What can be done further to enhance this competitiveness?
Leon Skaliotis: Flavourtech has been dealing with Indian companies for almost thirty years. Over that period of time, it has seen huge technological advancements take place in food and beverage production in India, as Indian companies learn to grow and compete on the world stage. These advancements have seen them grow their business and be second to none in their specific fields of expertise.
Flavourtech has been very focused on India for the last ten years and now has local staff to deal with customers in their own time zone and offer an even better level of service. Flavourtech sales in India have grown and it has helped our Indian customers grow with the majority returning to purchase more equipment as their market share increases due to the benefits the differentiation that Flavourtech equipment allows them to achieve.
With a Masters of Business Administration and many years of sales experience behind him, Leon has the technical knowledge and business acumen to understand what will drive growth and value for clients across food, beverage and pharmaceutical industries. Leon manages Flavourtech’s global sales team, agents and distributors, along with coordinating the company’s international exhibition and conference program, media and marketing programs. He states, “Every day brings a new stand out achievement. Whether it’s seeing customers who rely only on Flavourtech technologies continue to grow and prosper, or having a piece of our equipment become a standard part of the process at a large multinational, every achievement confirms our technologies really are driving revenue growth and improving product quality for our clients.”
Views expressed are personal. Usual disclaimers apply