Reproduction in English or any other language of all or part of this article is strictly prohibited. © 2018 Allured Business Media.
Antoine Kastler, sales director
of Robertet, recently took over the
presidency of the European Flavor and
Fragrance Association (EFFA). Perfumer
& Flavorist caught up with Kastler for
his thoughts on the EFFA and the future
of a more global industry as he takes the
helm as president.
Perfumer & Flavorist: How did you
get started in the flavor industry?
Antoine Kastler: I have always been
attracted by everything related to taste.
A few years ago, I met Olivier Maubert,
who is managing the flavor business at
his family-owned company, Robertet.
His passion for flavors grasped me immediately,
and he invited me to join his firm. I have been with
them ever since. And I am very happy I have made
that career choice. Now I am myself ultimately passionate about flavors.
PF: How has the industry changed throughout
AK: We work in a very dynamic industry that has
very old roots—some companies were created 250
years ago. I still feel relatively new to it, but I have
already seen many changes in these 10 years. I think
public awareness belongs to the most important [of
these] changes. Consumers are now choosing more
consciously what they eat. Take safety for example—
our industry has always considered it a priority, and
now consumers too are very aware of that and are
asking for high standards in food in general, which
I also see increasing interest of consumers in
naturals, and this stretches beyond Europe. Also,
I find the rise of new markets such as Asia, South
America and, tomorrow, Africa extremely interesting, and with very demanding consumers too. Taken
together, this provides many growth opportunities to
the flavor industry.
PF: As incoming president of the EFFA, what
are your goals for the first year?
AK: First, I would like to build on the good work
of my predecessor, Jean Robello, and further develop
it. I think he did a marvelous job in the past years,
when the EFFA has grown and changed a lot.
I am happy to see the small, medium and big
companies coming together in associations—it is
very important to reinforce the links among us, since
we all have common objectives.
I also consider working with our
executive director, Alexander Mohr,
on the positioning of the industry
towards the European Union institutions one of my priorities. They
constitute a very important partner
for us and we are working to increase
our visibility and reputation as a reliable partner in Brussels.
PF: In your opinion, what is the
most critical issue the flavor indus-
try is currently facing?
AK: To me, the so-called Union List
of flavorings approved for use in the
EU market belongs to the most current
PF: What are areas of growth within the
topics. When it came into force a few years ago, we
very much welcomed this list. And we keep working
with the EU institutions on its updates. This is a very
dynamic process and we are working closely with the
EU institutions on this.
European flavor industry?
AK: We are a very innovative industry, and we
invest around 10% of our turnover in R&D and
innovation. This constantly opens areas of growth:
the discovery of source materials, new taste combinations, new markets, processes and products. This
is also one of the reasons why the updates of the
Union List bear such importance for us—to be able
to keep innovating and bringing to consumers the
tastes they like.
PF: As globalization continues to bring the
industry together, what do you think will create
better communication between the international
AK: Coordination is key. We work very closely with
our national associations. I myself have been representing the French national association (SNIAA) at
the EFFA board for many years. And EFFA also works
very closely with IOFI, the global association.
To give you one example for this collaboration:
The Brussels Flavor Day brought all three levels
(national, regional and global) together to raise the
awareness for the flavor industry, and have a stronger voice by bringing together professionals from the
flavor industry such as flavorists, policy makers and
customers to discuss the future of food and the role
that flavor plays in key consumer trends.
And we will continue this trend, the Brussels
Flavor Day was just the kickoff event of many flavor
Coordination is Key: Q&A with Antoine Kastler, EFFA