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MANE Poland combines the Group’s flavouring and fragrance activities on the same site, a modern office environment that provides administrative, marketing and laboratory space.

Located on the south side of Warsaw, conveniently near the city’s ring road and airport, MANE Poland has tailor-made premises for serving the largest country in Central and Eastern Europe. Occupied since 2015, the offices are home to a sales operation and Innovation Centre for flavourings, and a commercial office for fragrances.

“The facilities are ideal for our activities here in Poland,” says Marcin Krzywański, Commercial Director – Flavours. “The Innovation Centre has all the equipment we need to test solutions internally, based on our knowledge of the market, and to then showcase our capabilities and portfolio on a small scale to customers and prospects before they are commercialised.” In addition to its applications role, the centre is also a venue for delivering seminars and training for customers and employees alike. A beverage laboratory and a separate lab for meat flavourings are also housed in the centre – reflecting the economic importance of the two segments to MANE’s activities here.

Drinks take pride of place

The sales team’s principal market is beverages, which includes the various flavourings used in Polish beers (including honey), special Christmas wines, flavoured waters, hot beverages, iced tea and other cold drinks. The beverage laboratory acts as an important test bed for flavours and solutions from colleagues at Le Bar-Sur-Loup in France and MANUFRI in Spain, reproducing precisely a product that can later be manufactured on an industrial scale. Dairy products, notably vanilla ice creams, and flavourings for the local meat industry are also major activities.

An appetite for meat

As the first occupants of a new building, MANE Poland had the huge advantage of being able to design all the rooms, spaces, and internal walls to suit its needs, rather than having to adapt to an existing layout. “The requirements for the meat application, for example, are quite specific because the process is wet and cold, so we needed to create a special environment and microclimate,” explains Marcin Krzywański. “It meant having a cooling room where we keep the temperature at around 8 degrees constantly and having piped water for cleaning the floors. It’s like having a small butcher’s shop!”

As one of Europe’s largest meat producers and exporters, prompting the world’s three largest meat production companies to operate nearly 30 plants in the country, the investment in these facilities has been worthwhile. With more than 1,000 producers in total, there is a ready market for the company’s flavourings for cooked and smoked hams in particular and for ready meals. However, as consumer trends continue to evolve, the country’s taste for beef and pork is being challenged by vegetarian and vegan alternatives, another area of MANE’s product portfolio and expertise.

Along with savoury flavourings with a full, meaty taste and texture, the Polish market has a particular taste for pepper, salt, garlic, and onion, but not for the fermented foods that are so popular, for example, across the border in Germany. For sweet flavourings, though, customer demand reflects the types and intensities seen elsewhere.

To meet the various market demands, the sales team is divided into the three main product segments – beverages, dairy and meat – and offers a full portfolio of flavourings, compounds, and functional blends, which are supplied directly to the customer from MANE plants in Spain, India, Italy, and France. Keeping track of orders and ensuring customer satisfaction is a task for Marta Sulima-Tokarczyk, head of flavours administration. “I’ve been with MANE for nearly 12 years now,” she says, “so I have known our longstanding customers from the very beginning, and I also support our key account managers on a daily basis.”

A dynamic market for fragrances

On the fragrances side, the sales and marketing team serves customers in Estonia, Bulgaria, Hungary, and Croatia, in addition to the domestic market in Poland. “Our main activities are focused on the home care, fine fragrances and fabric care segments, where we promote MANE’s patented technology products such as Powerbreeze™, Freshplex™ and Aquafine™,” says Katarzyna Suchowierska, the Regional Director for Central and Eastern Europe and CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) countries for fragrances. “Poland is aiming to become one of the richest markets in Europe, because of its developing society and economic growth. And that growth is continuing despite the impact of the Covid pandemic, the war in Ukraine and high inflation.”

The Polish fragrance market features a wide variety of products, including niche offerings for customers with very specific needs. Working closely with the development and application teams in France and Austria, Katarzyna Suchowierska and her colleagues’ portfolio is fully aligned not only with global fragrance trends – featuring mostly floral, fruity, citrus, and marine notes – but also sustainability trends such as ecolabelling and biodegradability.

A key feature of all the teams at MANE Poland is a positive atmosphere and a desire to achieve. “It’s a very friendly, supportive and motivating place to work,” says Katarzyna Suchowierska. “There’s a variety of interesting projects and each day is different.” The tone is equally upbeat on the flavourings side of MANE Poland’s activities. “I think we have a really good understanding of where we want to go and how to work together to deliver good sales results,” adds Marcin Krzywański. “At the same time, with MANE being a family-owned company that we also understand that our families are important, as is the business.”