Food Forum: Making Scents

Fragrance makers give retailers control over their own brands.
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As fragrance and flavor creators, a lot of people think our business is all about beautiful scents and delicious flavors—and that is true. Arylessence perfumers and flavorists are continuously creating new and innovative sensory ideas. But their primary focus is not the scents and tastes themselves: it is the shoppers who visit retailers’ aisles. By focusing on consumers who make critical decisions about what to buy and what to try, our perfumers and flavorists give retailers maximum control over what goes into their products and much greater leverage over the shopper connection. Fragrance and flavor are the sensory keys that crack the consumer code.

It was not always this way. Older generation store brands were formulated as national brand equivalents, providing parity in quality and performance, and many were positioned purely as price competitors. In both cases, fragrances and flavors were an afterthought. Decisions about scents and tastes were made by manufacturers, with no input from the retailer. But today’s fragrance and flavor-savvy consumers are changing everything. Shoppers now want beautiful, highly competitive scents and tastes in every product they buy, including store brands—and they will not choose products with fragrances and flavors that do not compete.

To improve store brand competitiveness, Arylessence teams work directly with retailers, as well as manufacturers. We study product categories to identify trends and buying behaviors and better understand consumers. We analyze the fragrances and flavors that major competitors are using to identify gaps and opportunities for retailers’ brands to be more appealing. We test prospective new scents and flavors with expert panelists to exceed the consumer’s tastes and expectations. We work with the retailer’s own manufacturers to ensure that fragrances and flavors perform brilliantly in finished products. In a productive way, we become a creative product development partner for our retailers. 

Significantly, there is no added cost for these advantages. Our customers pay only for the fragrances and flavors we create. And the cost parameters we apply are the same as those the retailer is currently using; there is no cost increase for superior sensory ingredients.

What this means for retailers is a dramatic change in the competitive profile of their brands, regardless of price point. At every tier, store brands can be more compelling and win more customers by using fragrances and flavors that shoppers prefer. 

At the higher end, store brands can also seriously challenge national brand leaders by creating more compelling scents and tastes. Not only will these be preferred by shoppers, but they will also offer the beautiful, enriching, emotional “experiences” that consumers expect in the brands they love. All this creates exceptional opportunities for brand and shopper loyalty, as well as improvements in sales, margins and profits. As leading retailers are discovering, fragrance and flavor are business builders.

What makes the difference between old generation store brands and new sensory-driven brands, leading retailers say, is control—retailers now have much greater control over the critical factors essential to store brand success. They can control the competitive power of the brands they put on the shelf—regardless of price point. They can control the scents and tastes that consumers prefer to national brand leaders. They can control the cost of sensory ingredients, and have total confidence that their fragrances and flavors were creatively designed to improve competitiveness; connect more strongly to consumers; and provide emotional experiences that, in turn, create repeat purchase and shopper loyalty. In a word, they control what truly matters in the brand. For smart retailers, this translates into a better store brand strategy and much better marketing outcomes.

Clearly, it takes a dedicated resource to make this happen. That is what we have built at Arylessence. We are a full service, state-of-the-art fragrance and flavor provider. Our clients include some of the world’s largest retailers. Our creative professionals—perfumers, evaluators, and flavorists—are world-class. Our in-house experts provide total support for quality control and testing; Safe Quality Food (SQF) certification; ethical and responsible sourcing; materials handling and labeling that meets global standards; logistics; and customer service that provides three-day production turnaround for every order. 

Above all, we know store brands. And by giving retailers greater control over their brands, we make greater store brand success happen.    


Gary Sycz is vice president of sales and business development for Arylessence. He can be reached at garysycz@arylessence.com.


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