Under terms of the agreement S. Black will distribute flavours primarily for beverage, confectionery, dairy and savoury foods from the Firmenich Food flavours range.
"The range will complement our existing grill flavours from Kraft Food Ingredients, natural dairy concentrates from ButterBuds and Tabasco pepper sauces," said the Hertford-based business in a statement this week.
Terms of the agreement were not disclosed but the new distribution deal provides the Swiss fragrance and flavours firm - that recorded a SF1.9 billion turnover in 2002 and an average of 8.7 per cent year on year growth since 1989 - with deeper access to the UK and Irish markets.
"A variety of new flavour delivery systems enables us to give consumer products a clear competitive edge in terms of tonality, shelf-life and preference," said the Swiss company that has 26 production and manufacturing sites worldwide.
"Backed by the expertise of Firmenich, S. Black will provide focused local sales, technical and logistical support to match customer expectations and flavour requirements," added the UK distributor, referring to a new development kitchen for food preparation and presentation recently completed at the company's Hertford headquarters.
UK market analysts IAL Consultants pitched the world market for flavours at an estimated €4.37 billion in 2001.
S. Black, which also supplies ingredients to the personal care and cosmetic markets, recently earmarked the food industry as a principal growth area for the company, underlining this strategy in 2002 with the acquisition of Universe Ingredients, UK supplier of prepared, dried food and flavour ingredients.
But competition in the UK flavours arena is tough, made tighter earlier this year when agribusiness Cargill, the largest private company in the US, signed on the dotted line for UK flavours group The Duckworth Group.