The new venture will allow both companies to better capitalize on business opportunities in China, one of the world’s largest and fastest growing economies. We-e’s existing understanding of the Chinese market will provide Virginia Dare with a turn-key operation in China. Virginia Dare brings its vast flavor portfolio, applications experience, technology base, and internationally recognized expertise in vanilla, tea and coffee to the joint venture. These strengths will be complemented by We-e Flavors extensive flavor portfolio and local market business knowledge.
Virginia Dare president, Howard Smith, Jr. explained, “A joint venture with a local champion makes our entry into China unique. It brings us closer to our customers in China and provides us with immediate access and cultural knowledge in a critical market.”
We-e Flavors, under the management of founder Aaron Gao, has achieved strong annual growth since its creation in 2006. Mr. Gao has previously held top management positions at major international food and flavor companies, and will continue as the general manager of the new joint venture. Commenting on the company’s success, Mr. Gao indicated, “We can attribute We-e’s great success to the company’s deep understanding of its home market’s taste preferences and culinary diversity, full range of flavor products, regional approach to sales, and unparalleled technical support services.”
The synergies created by the new venture will bring both companies’ customers a multitude of benefits such as exciting new flavor offerings, expanded knowledge of both global and Chinese markets and new product concepts for customers worldwide.
The company will operate from the site of the former We-e Flavors, which is conveniently located just south of Shanghai’s city. The facility has full flavor creation, product application, and production capabilities.