We started TasteTech in 1992, building our first pilot plant in our garage at home. After six months, we moved to our first industrial unit with seven employees. Over time, we have reinvested profits, increased the range of processes, bought more plant and equipment and now have 60 employees. TasteTech is a truly global company: we supply in to more than 40 countries around the world.
Our technologies enable food manufacturers to achieve increased shelf life, improved flavour impact, cost savings and many other product innovation opportunities. We focus on the bakery, chewing gum, confectionery and nutrition markets.
We develop systems for controlling the release of functional food ingredients and flavourings. These include matrix particle encapsulation, which encloses many particles of active ingredient inside a single particle, and core shell encapsulation, which provides a raincoat to individual particles and therefore protects an active ingredient from humidity, moisture and other challenges.
Innovation has always been at the heart of what we do. For example, one of our bakery preservative products is SorbicPlus, an encapsulated sorbic acid that keeps bread mould-free for up to 30 days while also reducing the yeast levels. Our Flavour8 allows manufacturers to create innovative flavour combinations in low-water activity products such as chocolate or toffee.
Scaling up and being constantly innovative
As a niche manufacturer we have to be constantly innovative. We are never short of ideas and we do have a great team. We know TasteTech could be a much bigger company. In terms of the opportunities open to us, we are still only scratching the surface.
However, we also have one big problem.
Our growth has meant that we have taken on more space, but this has been gradual and piecemeal. Today we have four separate units in two adjoining pairs on the same site. But 28,000 square feet spread over four units isn’t efficient, either for operations or for communications. We need to move to a new site and have a factory that is fit for purpose. It also has to be close to where most of our employees live, because of the traffic congestion and poor public transport in the area. It is the only way we can grow the business to its full potential.
A factory move brings many challenges, particularly about how we fund it. We are working with the Scaleup Programme to identify what our ideal factory would look like and to understand the costs involved in designing and building a new site. There are many decisions to get right in the process of closing down an old site while setting up the new one, kitting it out with new equipment and commissioning it. We have to keep production going as we make the transition between the two.
These are big challenges but we are up for it. With a purpose-built factory and the support of the Scaleup Programme, we can aspire to grow so much bigger.
With a purpose-built factory and the support of the Scaleup Programme, we can aspire to grow so much bigger.
Janis Sinton, Managing Director, TasteTech