Taste, Nutrition & Health | Corporate | Sustainability

150 shades of innovation
– Patent for the synthetic production of vanillin as the starting point
– Action day celebrates milestone and the start of the modern flavor industry
– Twelve-month campaign celebrates Symrise innovations

April 10, 1874, marks the birth of the company we know today as Symrise. On this day, Wilhelm Haarmann received the patent for the synthetic production of vanillin – the start of a journey that would change the world of flavors and fragrances forever.

Until this date in early April 1874, vanilla was known as the “queen of spices”, which only the wealthy could afford. Haarmann’s breakthrough therefore marked the beginning of a new chapter in the history of the fragrance and flavor industry. At the same time, his innovation ensured that large sections of the population could enjoy the taste that is so popular today.

This groundbreaking milestone must be celebrated, says Symrise, and has announced April 10, 2024, the 150th anniversary of the patent grant, World Vanilla Day for the first time. “We are thus celebrating the step that led to the foundation of the company that later became Symrise. At the same time, it stands for the birth of a global industry that produced numerous innovations. From a small wooden house in Altendorf on the Holzminde stream in Lower Saxony, vanillin conquered the world and inspired generations of scientists and entrepreneurs,” says Dr. Jean-Yves Parisot, CEO of Symrise.

To this day, the pioneering spirit of Haarmann and his colleagues and business partners Karl Reimer and Ferdinand Tiemann lives on in Symrise’s DNA. It has led to a series of groundbreaking inventions, innovations, and business practices. Today, Symrise conducts business as a multinational group in around 160 countries and is committed to ethical and sustainable business practices. The company is regarded as a pioneer for the global fragrance and flavor industry, a sector which today generates an annual worldwide revenue of over 40 billion euros and has produced several Nobel laureates.

One campaign, twelve months, 150 facets of innovation

To celebrate the 150th anniversary of vanillin and to honor Symrise’s role as a pioneer and shaper of the industry, the company is launching a twelve-month campaign with the slogan “150 shades of innovation”. “This campaign highlights Symrise’s pioneering successes in various segments of the fragrance and flavor industry. These include the synthesis of menthol, modern sun protection products, the use of artificial intelligence in fragrance creation, pet nutrition and care, and anchoring circular economy principles in all business processes,” summarizes Group press spokesperson Bernhard Kott.

As the main highlight of these celebrations, Symrise has officially proclaimed April 10 World Vanilla Day. The starting point of the 365-day journey along the biggest milestones in the company’s history is the first World Vanilla Day on April 10, 2024. It marks the start of a new tradition that will provide an annual opportunity to recognize the groundbreaking role vanillin has played in the history of the fragrance and flavor industry, while celebrating the innovations and advancements with which Symrise is driving this industry forward.

Karl Reimer and Wilhelm Haarmann in their laboratory 1878

Karl Reimer and Wilhelm Haarmann in their laboratory 1878

150 shades of innovation