Founded in 2009 on the kitchen table of current owner Mike Bagshaw, the Newbury-based organisation creates a diverse range of flavours for the food and drink industry, covering the bakery, dairy, beverage and savoury snack categories.
On the day of Food Manufacture’s visit, Bagshaw began by showing us around the facility, introducing us to the team of flavour experts employed by I.T.S and running through how the business is structured.
We were then taken through to the test bakery, where bakery and snack specialist lead Liz Gabriel greeted us. Gabriel fulfils a dual role focused on new product development and sales, which sees her working closely with customers on a day-to-day basis.
‘We work hard, we play hard’
When asked what the best thing is about working for I.T.S, Gabriel simply responds: “We work very hard, but we also play hard!”
Next, head of operations Paul Askett took us around the factory and warehouse, situated on the ground floor below the innovation centre. Askett explained what managing this responsibility entails, before discussing the stringent measures I.T.S has put in place when it comes to purchasing.
After finishing with Askett, Bagshaw and head of innovations Carl Smith showcase the flavour creation labs, with Smith detailing the crucial role these facilities play in both the development of new flavours from scratch and the adaptation of existing products.
‘Understanding a flavour’
“We like to bring customers here to give them an understanding of what a flavour is,” he told Food Manufacture.
Later we met Briony Rideout, beverage and dairy specialist at I.T.S, who explained how she splits flavour creation with customer relations, before Bagshaw wrapped things up by describing the ethos that he has looked to embed across the company.
“I tend to recruit great people and give them the freedom to do the things that they need to do,” he said. “That freedom and flexibility helps people to be creative.”