Flavor Infusion (FISA) has been in business since 2004, when Daniel DeClark established the business in California. With more than 35 years in the flavor industry, Daniel saw an opportunity to shape FISA into a successful component of the beverage manufacturing supply chain.
With two locations, one in Laguna Beach, and another in Panama, the company provides a range of custom-made flavorings to beverage manufacturers in North America, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean.
Bart DeClark, Daniel’s son and current president as of 2012, leads a team of approximately 80 people; he has been in the family business since it began more than 10 years ago. “One thing that sets us apart from our competitors is that we are a smaller yet more flexible and faster moving organization” Bart explains. “I would put my team up against any of the larger companies in terms of service, reliability, quality and R&D. On top of that, we are easy to do business with. Customers who give us the opportunity to work with them are always very pleased with the outcome. We generate more repeat business with new customers because we exceed expectations and deliver on our promises.”
Research and development is a major part of what FISA offers to clients. “There are several different ways we work with our customers,” he explains. “We may have a beverage company come to us and say they want to launch a line of new products or add new SKUs to their existing portfolio. We do full beverage development in-house, using our flavors. Once they approve a finished beverage prototype, they purchase the flavor from us. We manufacture it for them exclusively and we do not sell the same flavor to any other companies.”
FISA solely works in the beverage sector of the market. The company’s recent work has trended toward a few different popular beverages. “We are working a lot in the coffee category, particularly in cold-brewed coffee, Bart says. “Cold brew is a smaller market, but it is growing fast. We have seen growth particularly in anything that has to do with healthy beverage choices. Right now, healthier options for consumers dominate our development efforts. We have also seen growth in the tea category and the sparkling water category. We are also heavily involved in protein drinks, energy drinks and other functional beverages at this moment.”
Holding onto a growing market
The company has experienced steady growth over recent years. In order to keep up with this growth, Bart says one of his primary goals is to maintain consistent relationships with suppliers.
“We have some really good partnerships with our key vendors, especially our suppliers for citrus oil and other key ingredients,” he elaborates. “However, as our demand grows, we have been actively researching alternative sources outside of the Americas, such as Europe and Asia Pacific for sourcing new ingredients.”
At the company’s manufacturing facility in Panama, Bart and his team have been adding new tanks for additional capacity. “We just introduced high-speed filling equipment that has cut our filling time in half,” Bart says. “We already have an automated system. When we built, we planned our facilities with the least amount of human interaction to prevent human error. This helps us maintain efficiency and consistency so we can focus on quality and customer commitments.”
Into 2015, Bart and his team are focusing resources on strategic growth. FISA has market growth potential throughout the world, and the business is uniquely set up with its advanced Panama-based operation to take advantage of the fast growing markets in Latin America and Caribbean region. Bart and his FISA team retain a focus on quality and consistency. Flavor Infusion will continue to grow, creating high-quality flavors for beverage manufacturers throughout the world.