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UNITED STATES SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
FORM 10-K
ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2021
OR
TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the transition period from _______ to _______
Commission File Number 1-4858
INTERNATIONAL FLAVORS & FRAGRANCES INC.
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
New York13-1432060
(State or other jurisdiction
of incorporation or organization)
(I.R.S. Employer Identification No.)
521 West 57th Street, New York, NY 10019-2960
200 Powder Mill Road, Wilmington, DE 19803-2907
(Address of principal executive offices) (Zip Code)
Registrant’s telephone number, including area code (212765-5500
SECURITIES REGISTERED PURSUANT TO SECTION 12(b) OF THE ACT:
Title of Each ClassTrading SymbolName of Each Exchange on Which Registered
Common Stock, par value 12 1/2¢ per shareIFFNew York Stock Exchange
1.750% Senior Notes due 2024IFF 24New York Stock Exchange
1.800% Senior Notes due 2026IFF 26New York Stock Exchange
SECURITIES REGISTERED PURSUANT TO SECTION 12(g) OF THE ACT: None
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.  Yes    No  ☐
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act. Yes  ☐  No   ☑
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes  ☑  No  ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files). Yes  ☑ No  ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the Registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company,” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.
Large accelerated filerAccelerated filer
Non-accelerated filerSmaller reporting company
Emerging growth company
If an emerging growth company, indicate by checkmark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act.  ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management's assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report.
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act). Yes    No  ☑
The aggregate market value of the voting stock held by non-affiliates of the Registrant was $37,208,150,825 as of June 30, 2021.
As of February 21, 2022, there were 254,684,699 shares of the registrant’s common stock, par value 12 1/2¢ per share, outstanding.
DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE
Portions of the registrant’s proxy statement for the 2022 Annual Meeting of Shareholders (the “IFF 2022 Proxy Statement”) are incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K.



INTERNATIONAL FLAVORS & FRAGRANCES INC.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
 
  PAGE
PART I
ITEM 1.
ITEM 1A.
ITEM 1B.
ITEM 2.
ITEM 3.
ITEM 4.
PART II
ITEM 5.
ITEM 6.
ITEM 7.
ITEM 7A.
ITEM 8.
ITEM 9.
ITEM 9A.
ITEM 9B.
ITEM 9C.
PART III
ITEM 10.
ITEM 11.
ITEM 12.
ITEM 13.
ITEM 14.
PART IV
ITEM 15.
ITEM 16.
2


PART I
In this report, we use the terms “IFF,” “the Company,” “we,” “us” and “our” to refer to International Flavors & Fragrances Inc. and its subsidiaries.

ITEM 1.BUSINESS.
We are a leading creator and manufacturer of food, beverage, health & biosciences, scent and pharma solutions and complementary adjacent products, including cosmetic active and natural health ingredients, which are used in a wide variety of consumer products. Our products are sold principally to manufacturers of dairy, meat, beverages, snacks, savory, sweet, baked goods and other foods, personal care products, soaps and detergents, cleaning products, perfumes and cosmetics, dietary supplements, food protection, infant and elderly nutrition, functional food, pharmaceutical and oral care products. As a result, we hold global leadership positions in the Food & Beverage, Home & Personal Care and Health & Wellness markets, and across key Tastes, Textures, Scents, Nutrition, Enzymes, Cultures, Soy Proteins, Pharmaceutical Excipients, Biocides and Probiotics categories.
On February 1, 2021, pursuant to an Agreement and Plan of Merger (the “Merger Agreement”) with DuPont de Nemours, Inc. (“DuPont”), a wholly owned subsidiary of IFF merged with and into Nutrition & Biosciences, Inc. (“N&B”), a subsidiary of DuPont holding its Nutrition and Biosciences business (the “N&B Business,” and such transaction, the “N&B Transaction”). The shares issued in the merger represented approximately 55.4% of the common stock of IFF on a fully diluted basis, after giving effect to the merger, as of February 1, 2021.
Sales in 2021 were approximately $11.656 billion. Based on 2021 sales, approximately 41% were to global consumer products companies and approximately 59% were to small and mid-sized companies. During 2021, our 25 largest customers accounted for 29% of our sales. In 2021, no customer accounted for more than 10% of sales.
Our business is geographically diverse, with sales in the U.S. representing approximately 28% of sales in 2021. No other country represented more than 7% of sales.
Our audited consolidated financial information in this report for 2021 includes the results of the N&B Business effective February 1, 2021, whereas the Company’s consolidated financial information for the prior years do not include amounts related to N&B.
Our Product Offerings
Our business consists of four segments: Nourish, Health & Biosciences, Scent and Pharma Solutions.
Nourish
As a leading creator of ingredients and solutions, we help our customers deliver on the promise of healthy and delicious foods and drinks that appeal to consumers. While we are a global leader, our Nourish business operates regionally, with different formulas that reflect local taste preferences. We create products in our regional creative centers which allows us to satisfy local preferences, while also helping to ensure regulatory compliance and production standards. We develop thousands of different Nourish offerings for our customers, most of which are tailor-made, and we continually develop new formulas to meet changing consumer preferences and customer needs.
Our Nourish segment consists of most of our legacy Taste segment combined with N&B’s Food & Beverage division and the food protection business of N&B’s Health & Biosciences division. Our Nourish business spans a diversified portfolio across natural and plant-based specialty food ingredients, flavor compounds, and savory solutions and inclusions and consists of three business units: Ingredients, Flavors and Food Designs.
Ingredients include a diversified portfolio across natural and plant-based specialty food ingredients derived from herbs and plants that provide texturizing solutions used in the food industry, food protection solutions used in food and beverage products, as well as specialty soy and pea protein with value-added formulations, emulsifiers and sweeteners. Natural food protection ingredients consist of natural antioxidants and anti-microbials used for natural food preservation and shelf-life extension for beverages, cosmetic and healthcare products, pet food and feed additives.
Flavors include a range of flavor compounds and natural taste solutions that are ultimately used by our customers in savory products (soups, sauces, meat, fish, poultry, snacks, etc.), beverages (juice drinks, carbonated or flavored beverages, spirits, etc.), sweets (bakery products, candy, cereal, chewing gum, etc.), and dairy products (yogurt, ice cream, cheese, etc.). Flavors also include value-added spices and seasoning ingredients for meat, food service, convenience, alternative protein and culinary products.
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Food Designs include savory solution products such as spices, sauces, marinades and mixtures. Additionally, Food Designs provide inclusion products that help with taste and texture by, among other things, combining flavorings with fruit, vegetables and other natural ingredients for a wide range of food products, such as health snacks, baked goods, cereals, pastries, ice cream and other dairy products.
Health & Biosciences
Our Health & Biosciences business consists of a biotechnology-driven portfolio of enzymes, food cultures, probiotics and specialty ingredients for food, home and personal care, and health and wellness applications.
Our Health & Biosciences business comprises N&B’s Health & Biosciences division (except the food protection business which is part of Nourish) in combination with the Natural Product Solutions business of legacy IFF. Health & Biosciences is comprised of six business units: Health, Cultures & Food Enzymes, Home & Personal Care, Animal Nutrition, Grain Processing and Microbial Control. During the third quarter of 2021, we entered into an agreement to divest the Microbial Control business. We expect that the transaction will close in the second quarter of 2022, subject to customary closing conditions.
Health provides ingredients for dietary supplements, functional food and beverage, specialized nutrition and pharma.
Cultures & Food Enzymes provides products that aim to serve the global demand for healthy, natural, clean label and fermented food for fresh dairy, cheese, bakery and brewing products. Such products contribute to extended shelf life and stability helping our customers to improve their product offerings. The business's enzyme solutions also allow our customers to provide low sugar, high fiber and lactose-free dairy products.
Home & Personal Care produces enzymes for laundry and dishwashing detergents, cleaning and textiles to help enhance the product and process performance of products in the fabric and homecare, textiles and industrials and personal care markets.
Animal Nutrition produces feed enzymes and animal health solutions that help to improve welfare, performance and sustainability of livestock animal farming.
Grain Processing produces yeasts and enzymes for biofuel production and carbohydrate processing.
Microbial Control produces biocides for controlling microbial populations for oil and gas production, home and personal care and industrial preservation markets.
Scent
Our Scent business creates fragrance compounds, fragrance ingredients and cosmetic ingredients that are integral elements in the world’s finest perfumes and best-known household and personal care products. Consumer insights science and creativity are at the heart of our Scent business, and, along with our unique portfolio of natural and synthetic ingredients, global footprint, innovative technologies and know-how, and customer intimacy, we believe make us a market leader in scent products. Our Scent business consists of our legacy Scent segment as well as our Flavor Ingredients business, formerly part of our legacy Taste business. The Scent segment is comprised of three business units: Fragrance Compounds, Fragrance Ingredients and Cosmetic Actives.
Fragrance Compounds are unique and proprietary combinations of multiple fragrance ingredients that are ultimately used by our customers in their consumer goods. Our creative and commercial teams within fragrance compounds are organized into two broad categories, fine fragrances and consumer fragrances.
Our perfumers harness creativity and leverage our innovative captive molecules, sustainable natural ingredients obtained with innovative processes, biotech ingredients, data science, and consumer insights to create unique and inspiring fragrances driving consumer preferences.
Our fine fragrances focus on perfumes and colognes, creating global and local namesake brands, from high luxury to mass market, from market leading to ultra-niche products.
Our consumer fragrances include three end-use categories of products:
Fabric Care, including laundry detergents, fabric softeners and specialty laundry products;
Home Care, including household cleaners, dishwashing detergents and air fresheners; and
Body Care, including personal wash, hair care and toiletries products.
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Fragrance Ingredients. Fragrance ingredients are natural and synthetic, and active and functional ingredients that are used internally and sold to third parties, including competitors, for use in the preparation of compounds. While the principal role of our fragrance ingredients facilities is to support our fragrance compounds business, we utilize excess manufacturing capacity to manufacture and sell certain fragrance ingredients to third parties, enabling us to leverage our fixed costs while maintaining the security of our supply for our perfumers and ultimately our customers. Flavor ingredients include natural flavor extracts, specialty botanical extracts, distillates, essential oils, citrus products, aroma chemicals and natural gums and resins. Such ingredients are used for food, beverage and flavors, and are often sold directly to food and beverage manufacturers who use them in producing consumer products.
Cosmetic Actives designs, develops, manufactures and markets innovative ingredients for the cosmetics and personal care industry, while offering active ingredients, functional ingredients, and delivery systems.
Pharma Solutions
Our Pharma Solutions business produces a vast portfolio including cellulosics and seaweed-based pharma excipients, used to improve the functionality and delivery of active pharmaceutical ingredients, including controlled or modified drug release formulations, and enabling the development of more effective pharmaceutical finished dosage formats. Our excipients are used in prescription and over-the-counter pharmaceuticals and dietary supplements. Our Pharma Solutions products also serve a variety of other specialty and industrial end-uses including coatings, inks, electronics, agriculture, and consumer products. Pharma Solutions is comprised of N&B’s Pharma Solutions business.
Consumer Insights, Research and Product Development Process
The markets in which we compete require constant innovation to remain competitive. Consumer preferences tend to drive change in our markets, and as science evolves and sustainability continues to be a key factor to customers and consumers, we must continue to strengthen our research and development platforms and adapt our capabilities to provide differentiated products.
Consumer Insights
We believe that the first step to creating an innovative and unique product experience begins with gaining insight into the consumer and emerging industry trends. By developing a deep understanding of what consumers value and prefer through our consumer insight programs, we are better able to focus our research and development and creative efforts.
Our consumer science, insight and marketing teams interpret trends, monitor product launches, analyze quantitative market data and conduct numerous consumer interviews annually.
Based on this information, we develop innovative and proprietary programs to evaluate potential products that enable us to understand the emotional connections between a prospective product and the consumer. We believe this ability to pinpoint the likelihood of a product’s success translates into stronger brand equity, resulting in increased returns and greater market share gains for our customers as well as for IFF.
Research and Development
We consider our research and development infrastructure to be one of our key competencies and critical to our ability to provide differentiated products to our customers. We have strong product and application development pipelines built upon a global network that includes research and development, as well as regulatory and product stewardship capabilities.
We focus and invest substantial resources in the research and development of new and innovative molecules, compounds, formulations and technologies and the application of these to our customers’ products. Using the knowledge gained from our consumer insights programs and business unit needs, we strategically focus our resources around key research and development platforms that address or anticipate consumer needs or preferences. By aligning our capabilities and resources to these platforms, we ensure the proper support and focus for each program so that our products can be further developed and eventually accepted for commercial application.
As of December 31, 2021, we have been granted 1,346 patents in the United States, since 2000, and have 608 pending patent applications. We have developed many unique molecules and delivery systems for our customers that are used as the foundations of successful products around the world.
Our principal basic research and development activities are located in Union Beach, New Jersey; Wilmington, Delaware; Palo Alto, California; Brabrand, Denmark; and Leiden, The Netherlands. At those locations, our scientists and application engineers, while collaborating with our other research and development centers around the world, support the:
discovery of new materials;
development of new technologies, such as delivery systems;
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creation of new compounds; and
enhancement of existing ingredients and compounds.
As of December 31, 2021, we employed approximately 3,400 people globally in research and development activities.
Creative Application
Through our global network of creative centers and application laboratories, we create or adapt the basic Nourish, Health & Biosciences, Scent and Pharma Solutions that we have developed in the research and development process to commercialize for use in our customers’ consumer products. Our global creative teams consist of marketing, consumer science, consumer insights and technical application experts, from a wide range of cultures and nationalities. In close partnership with our customers’ product development groups, our creative teams create the experiences that our customers are seeking in order to satisfy consumer demands in each of their respective markets.
New product development is driven by a variety of sources including requests from our customers, who are in need of specific products for use in a new or modified consumer product, or as a result of internal initiatives stemming from our consumer insights program. Our product development team works in partnership with our scientists and researchers to optimize the consumer appeal and relevance of our offerings. We use a collaborative process between our researchers, our product development team and our customers to perfect our offerings so they are ready to be included in the final consumer product.
In addition to creating new products, our researchers and product development teams advise customers on ways to improve their existing products by moderating or substituting current ingredients with more readily accessible or less expensive materials enhancing their yield. This often results in creating a better value proposition for our customers.
Most of our formulas are treated as trade secrets and remain our proprietary assets. Our business is not materially dependent upon any individual patent, trademark or license.
Supply Chain
We strive to provide our customers with consistent and quality products on a timely and cost-effective basis by managing all aspects of the supply chain, from raw material sourcing through manufacturing, quality assurance, regulatory compliance and distribution.
Procurement
In connection with the manufacture of our products, we use natural and synthetic ingredients. As of December 31, 2021, we purchased approximately 28,500 different raw materials sourced from an extensive network of domestic and international suppliers and distributors.
Natural ingredients are derived from flowers, fruits and other botanical products, as well as from animal and marine products, and commodity crops like wheat, corn and soy. They contain varying numbers of organic chemicals that are responsible for the fragrance, flavor, antioxidant properties and nutrition of the natural products. Natural products are purchased directly from farms or in processed and semi-processed forms. Some natural products are used in compounds in the state in which they are obtained and others are used after further processing. Natural products, together with various chemicals, are also used as raw materials for the manufacture of synthetic ingredients by chemical processes.
In order to ensure our supply of raw materials, achieve favorable pricing and provide timely transparency regarding inflationary trends to our customers, we continue to focus on:
purchasing under contract with fixed or formula-based pricing for set time periods;
entering into hedging for raw materials we purchase that can be hedged against liquid commodity assets;
entering into supplier relationships to gain access to supplies we would not otherwise have;
implementing indexed pricing;
reducing the complexity of our formulations;
evaluating the profitability of whether to buy or make an ingredient; and
sourcing from local countries with our own procurement professionals.
Manufacturing and Distribution
As of December 31, 2021, we had approximately 210 manufacturing facilities, creative centers and application laboratories located in approximately 45 different countries. Our major manufacturing facilities are located in the United States, The Netherlands, Spain, Great Britain, Germany, Indonesia, Turkey, Brazil, Mexico, Slovenia, China, India, Ireland, Finland, Denmark, Belgium and Singapore.
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During the last few years, we undertook an initiative to optimize our global operations footprint to efficiently and cost-effectively deliver value to our global customers. Between 2019 and 2020, the Company completed the closure of 21 sites. During 2021, the Company completed the closure of one site. By the completion of this initiative, targeted for the end of 2022, we expect to close approximately 30 manufacturing sites.
Our supply chain initiatives are focused on increasing capacity and investing in key technologies. Within our more mature markets, we tend to focus on consolidation and cost optimization as well as the implementation of new technologies. In addition to our own manufacturing facilities, we develop relationships with third parties, including contract manufacturing organizations, that expand our access to the technologies, capabilities and capacity that we need to better serve our customers.
For more detailed information about risks related to our supply chain, please refer to Item 1A, “Risk Factors” – Supply chain disruptions, geopolitical developments or climate-change events may adversely affect our suppliers or our procurement of raw materials, and thus may impact our business and financial results.
Environmental, Social, and Governance
Since the N&B Transaction, we have been working to integrate all aspects of environmental, social and governance (ESG) topics into a combined program. As a part of our integration with N&B, we have developed an ESG roadmap, the 2030 ‘Do More Good Plan’ (the Plan), which aligns with IFF’s purpose of applying science and creativity for a better world. The Plan includes four key focus areas:
Environmental
Supporting environmental stewardship across our operations, including commitments to climate action, zero waste to landfill, water stewardship solutions and an acceleration of our responsible sourcing practices by promoting regenerative ecosystems and achieving zero deforestation for strategic raw material supply chains.
Social
Advancing our commitment to people and communities by strengthening diversity, equity & inclusion within our workforce, while continuously improving our safety program by striving for an injury-free workplace, and achieving world-class safety performance. Within our responsible sourcing program, the Company will continue to promote human rights and animal welfare, while supporting farmers’ livelihoods and ensuring prosperous and equitable value chains.
Governance
Continuing our commitment to good governance which starts with our Board and Executive Committee and is supported by a strong governance framework, including having a robust program to ensure compliance with our Codes of Conduct and adherence to the highest standards of ethics, integrity, honesty and respect in our dealings internally and with our business partners. To enhance accountability in line with evolving stakeholder expectations, the Company plans to launch ESG metrics tied to executive compensation, while expanding oversight for ESG at the Board of Directors level. IFF remains on track to increase our transparency in disclosures and key performance indicators.
Sustainable Solutions
Focusing on the sustainability value proposition and growth for all new innovations as we assist customers in achieving their own ESG goals by delivering an expanded suite of sustainable solutions for the market.
In 2021, our Company continued to achieve notable recognitions in these areas. We were named to the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices for the second consecutive year, a family of best-in-class benchmarks for investors who recognize that sustainable business practices are critical to generating long-term shareholder value. Once again named to both the 2021 World Index and the North America Index, this distinction validates IFF’s leadership position in sustainability performance and underscores our commitment to executing on key ESG priorities. IFF was also recognized by the Human Rights Campaign as a 2021 Best Place to Work for LBGTQ Equality and named among the 2021 Best Places to Work for Disability Inclusion by Disability:IN, for the third and second consecutive years, respectively. For the first time in 2021, we were also recognized by CDP as a triple A list company for corporate transparency and action on climate change, water stewardship and deforestation. IFF continues to be named one of Barron’s 100 Most Sustainable Companies and listed in the FTSE4Good Index series as well as in the Euronext Vigeo World 120 Index for ESG performance.
For more detailed information about our ESG programs and performance, please refer to our annual sustainability report.
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Governmental Regulation
We develop, produce and market our products in a number of jurisdictions around the world and are subject to federal, regional and local legislation and regulations in various countries. Our products, which among other industries, are intended for use in food, beverage, pharmaceutical and dietary supplements, home and personal care, feed, cosmetics industries, are subject to strict quality and regulatory standards and environmental laws and regulations. We in turn are required to meet strict standards which, in recent years, have become increasingly stringent and affect both existing as well as new products. While the cost of compliance with such laws and regulations leads to higher overall capital expenditure, which can be significant in certain periods, we do not currently anticipate any material capital expenditures necessary to comply with such laws and regulations. We continue to monitor existing and pending laws and regulations and while the impact of regulatory changes cannot be predicted with certainty, compliance has not had, and is not expected to have a material adverse effect on capital expenditure, earnings or competitive position.
Our products and operations are subject to regulation by governmental agencies in each of the markets in which we operate. These agencies include (1) the Food and Drug Administration and equivalent international agencies that regulate flavors, pharmaceutical excipients and other ingredients in consumer products, (2) the Environmental Protection Agency and equivalent international agencies that regulate our manufacturing facilities, as well as fragrance products (including encapsulation systems) and microbial products, (3) the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and equivalent international agencies that regulate the working conditions in our manufacturing, research laboratories and creative centers, (4) local and international agencies that regulate trade and customs, (5) the Drug Enforcement Administration and other local or international agencies that regulate controlled chemicals that we use in our operations, (6) the Chemical Registration/Notification authorities that regulate chemicals that we use in, or transport to, the various countries in which we manufacture and/or market our products, and (7) the U.S. Department of Agriculture and equivalent international authorities with respect to, among other things, labeling of consumer products. We have seen an increase in registration and reporting requirements concerning the use of certain chemicals in a number of countries, such as Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals (“REACH”) regulations in the European Union, as well as similar regulations in other countries.
In addition, we are subject to various rules relating to health, work safety and the environment at the local and international levels in the various countries in which we operate. Our manufacturing facilities throughout the world are subject to environmental standards relating to air emissions, sewage discharges, the use of hazardous materials, waste disposal practices and clean-up of existing environmental contamination. In recent years, there has been an increase in the stringency of environmental regulation and enforcement of environmental standards, and the costs of compliance have risen significantly, a trend we expect will continue in the future.
For more detailed information about risks related to governmental regulation applicable to the Company, please refer to Item 1A, “Risk Factors” – If we are unable to comply with regulatory requirements and industry standards, including those regarding product safety, quality, efficacy and environmental impact, we could incur significant costs and suffer reputational harm which could adversely affect results of operations.
Competition
The markets for our products are part of a larger market that supplies a wide variety of ingredients and compounds used in consumer products. The broader market includes functional foods and food additives, including seasonings, texturizers, spices, enzymes, certain food-related commodities, and fortified products, as well as natural ingredients, nutritional ingredients, supplements and active cosmetic ingredients. Our recent acquisitions have also expanded our reach in products within the functional food ingredient market, including ingredients focused on improving the health and wellness characteristics of a consumer good, the dietary supplement, pharmaceutical ingredient, infant nutrition markets and the cosmetic actives market.
The global market for our products has expanded, primarily as a result of an increase in demand for, and an increase in the variety of, consumer products.
The market for our products is highly competitive. Our main competitors consist of (1) other large global companies, such as Givaudan, Firmenich Symrise, Kerry, ADM, Novozymes, Chr. Hansen, (2) mid-sized companies, (3) numerous regional and local manufacturers and (4) consumer product companies who may develop their own competing products.
We believe that our ability to create products with the sustainability related attributes customers expect and compete successfully in the various sub-market is based on:
our in-depth understanding of consumers,
vertical integration,
innovation and technological advances from our research and development activities and, as applicable, our scientists,
our ability to tailor products to customers’ needs,
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our ability to manufacture products on a global scale, and
broad-based regulatory capabilities.
In certain industries, large multi-national customers and, increasingly, mid-sized customers, may limit the number of their suppliers by placing some on “core lists,” giving them priority for development and production of their new or modified products. To compete more successfully, we must make continued investments in customer relationships and tailor our research and development efforts to anticipate customers’ needs, provide effective service and secure and maintain inclusion on these “core lists.”
Private label manufacturers, mostly medium-sized, local or small food manufacturers, constitute a growing segment in certain markets where we are active. Over the last decade, with the strengthening of supermarket chains, online platforms and growing consumer price consciousness, consumption of private label products has grown at a faster rate than the brand food industry rate. We believe that new business opportunities will continue to arise from these clients as they are increasing their demand for products that are similar to existing products in the market, distinctive premium products, as well as more innovative products.
Our People
The success of our business is built on our talented employees. At December 31, 2021, we had approximately 24,000 employees worldwide, of whom approximately 5,300 are employed in the United States.
Culture and Values
Our culture is based on our five corporate values of empowerment, expertise, innovation, integrity and responsibility, and the expression of these values can be seen and felt throughout our history. Our employees appreciate that they contribute to products that touch and enhance the lives of millions of people around the world. In 2021, we implemented an employee engagement initiative through our cultural ambassador program to build a common identity and shared purpose, drive positive organizational change, strengthen engagement and motivation. Cultural ambassadors were nominated by each site and led programs and sessions on promotion of the IFF values and recognition of individuals who exemplified such values. To date, approximately half of the IFF employees world-wide have attended such sessions.
Leadership and Development
Our leadership development efforts empower employees to become forward-looking, inspiring and capable decision-makers, agents of change and great leaders. To cultivate our employees’ talent and build sustainable long-lasting careers at IFF, we provide tools that enable our employees to envision their career journeys in the form of articulated career “ladders” and “frameworks”. We offer corresponding development opportunities to include specialized courses for employees globally by partnering with leading institutions and universities to help provide the latest training and development offerings at all levels. We also offer to our employees an extensive library of on-demand courses and materials on leadership, management and professional skills development. Those learning resources are integrated into our human capital platform, allowing managers and employees to establish digitalized learning plans that are ultimately captured as a part of their employee profile. Further, those offerings complement our talent acquisition strategy and organized and personalized feedback process, supported by industry-leading assessment tools.
Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DE&I)
Our DE&I vision: “Your Uniqueness Unleashes Our Potential.” sets the tone for our colleagues to be empowered to bring their whole authentic selves to work. To this end, we are dedicated to nurturing a truly inclusive and equitable culture through the three pillars of our DE&I mission:
Our People embody the mosaic of the markets we serve and are empowered to transform the future
Our Spirit nurtures an inclusive and fair culture where every voice is valued and heard
Our World embraces diversity of thought and strives to do more good, creating a better future for all
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In 2021, our primary focus was harmonizing the two corresponding DE&I programs from the legacy N&B and IFF organizations. We reorganized IFF’s DE&I Steering Committee to ensure there was equitable representation of our employee population, including heritage N&B colleagues. We continued our commitment of gender equality using the Economic Dividends for Gender Equity Methodological Framework. IFF was also listed as a “Best Place to Work for Disability Inclusion” for the second consecutive year with a 100% score; part of this achievement was due to the fact that we have launched a Disability Inclusion Taskforce that is auditing our policies & practices for any opportunities to be more inclusive of People with Disabilities. Moreover, IFF maintained our “Best Place to Work for LGBTIQ+ Equality” with 100% scores in Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index and the HRC Equidad Mexico and also achieved a Bronze Level recognition form the India Workplace Equality Index. Throughout 2021, our employee resource groups known as “colleague communities” continued to thrive and mature. Our existing communities; Women@IFF, Prisma, Black Excellence, NextGen@IFF and SERVE (which supports veteran and first responder issues), hosted several events throughout the year and continued to expand their footprint around the globe through chapter development & new members. We were also excited to launch our newest communities, such as Asian Colleagues for Equity, Empowerment, & Excellence, IFFers UNIDOS, and AccessAbility. Lastly, we hosted our first annual Global Inclusion Week delivering over 5,000 hours of training, which further advances our journey towards full inclusion.
Occupational Health & Safety
Employee safety is one of the cornerstones of our business. Our occupational health and safety management system requires and encourages employees and supervised contractors at sites globally to uphold IFF’s protocols, report any incidents and suggest improvements that will increase the safety of work sites. Our safety management system in each country is based on local regulations. In the absence of country-specific requirements, IFF guidelines are implemented, which are based on U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards. To work toward a safer workplace, we have put in place a set of protocols and programs related to three areas of focus: (a) safety governance (setting and updating comprehensive safety policies and procedures), (b) safety training of employees on local requirements and IFF policies, and (c) safety culture characterized by awareness and communication. In response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, we have been following the requirements of governmental authorities and taking additional preventative and protective measures to ensure the safety of our workforce. Moreover, we have developed return-to-workplace protocols and mandatory site guidelines to continue to protect the health and safety of employees at each location and to promote an orderly and phased return for employees who have been working from home.
Availability of Reports
We make available free of charge on or through the “Investors” link on our website, www.iff.com, all materials that we file electronically with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), including our annual report on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K, and amendments to those reports, filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, as soon as reasonably practicable after electronically filing such materials with, or furnishing them to, the SEC. During the period covered by this Form 10-K, we made all such materials available through our website as soon as reasonably practicable after filing such materials with the SEC.
The SEC maintains an Internet website, www.sec.gov, that contains reports, proxy and information statements and other information that we file electronically with the SEC.
A copy of our By-Laws, Corporate Governance Guidelines, Codes of Conduct, and the charters of the Audit Committee, Human Capital and Compensation Committee, Nominating and Governance Committee and Innovation and Sustainability Committee of the Board of Directors are posted on the “Investors” section of our website, www.iff.com.
Our principal executive offices are located at 521 West 57th Street, New York, New York 10019 and 200 Powder Mill Road, Wilmington, DE 19803.
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Executive Officers of Registrant
The current executive officers of the Company, as of February 28, 2022, are listed below.
NameAgePosition
Frank Clyburn57Chief Executive Officer and member of our Board of Directors
Glenn Richter60Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Nicolas Mirzayantz59President, Nourish
Simon Herriott58President, Health & Biosciences
Christophe de Villenlee57President, Scent
Angela Strzelecki55President, Pharma Solutions
Francisco Fortanet53Executive Vice President, Global Operations Officer
Jennifer Johnson47Executive Vice President, General Counsel
Susana Suarez-Gonzalez52Executive Vice President, Chief Human Resources and Diversity and Inclusion Officer
Vic Verma53Executive Vice President, Chief Information Officer
Gregory Yep56Executive Vice President, Chief Research & Development, Global Integrated Solutions & Sustainability Officer
Michael DeVeau41Senior Vice President, Chief Investor Relations & Communication Officer
Frank Clyburn has served as our Chief Executive Officer and a member of our Board of Directors since February 14, 2022. Mr. Clyburn joined us from Merck, where he served as Executive Vice President and President of Human Health. While at Merck since 2008, Mr. Clyburn held a number of positions, including Chief Commercial Officer, inaugural president of the company’s Global Oncology business, and President of the Primary Care and Women’s Health businesses. Before joining Merck, Mr. Clyburn was Vice President of the Oncology and Internal Medicine business units at Sanofi Aventis and held a wide range of leadership roles with that company.
Glenn Richter has served as our Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer since September 2021. Prior to joining IFF, Mr. Richter was Chief Financial Officer of TIAA, having worked at the company in various leadership roles from April 2015 to July 2021. Previously, Mr. Richter worked for Nuveen Investments as Chief Operating Officer and Chief Administrative Officer and before joining Nuveen Investments in 2006, he served as Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer for RR Donnelley & Sons, and prior to that he was Executive Vice President & CFO of Sears, Roebuck and Co. and Chairman of Sears Canada, a publicly-traded affiliate.
Nicolas Mirzayantz has served as our President, Nourish since September 2021 and, previously, as President, Scent since October 2018. Mr. Mirzayantz originally joined our Company in 1988 and was our Group President, Fragrances from January 2007 to October 2018. Mr. Mirzayantz has also served as a member of our Temporary Office of the Chief Executive Officer, our Senior Vice President, Fine Fragrance and Beauty Care and Regional Manager, North America, our Senior Vice President, Fine Fragrance and Beauty Care, and our Vice President Global Fragrance Business Development.
Simon Herriott has served as our President, Health & Biosciences since February 2021. From 2019 to February 2021, Mr. Herriott was Vice President and Global Business Director, Health & Biosciences for the N&B Business and from 2016 to 2019, he served as Global Business Director, Bioactives, Industrial Biosciences and Vice President, Danisco Inc. Mr. Herriott was employed by DuPont’s predecessor or formerly affiliated companies for 15 years and held a variety of roles, including Global Business Director, Biomaterials, Industrial Biosciences and leadership positions for various businesses that are currently part of DuPont’s Non-Core segment.
Christophe de Villeplee has served as our President, Scent since September 2021. Mr. de Villeplee previously served as President, Global Consumer Fragrances. He originally joined our Company in 1999 and has previously held positions of increasing responsibility, including sales, group country management, regional general management of fragrances, North America, and vice-president of Global Fine Fragrances and Beauty Care.
Angela Strzelecki has served as President, Pharma Solutions since February 2021. From 2019 to February 2021, Dr. Strzelecki was Platform Leader, Pharma Solutions for the N&B Business. From 2013 to 2019, Dr. Strzelecki held a variety of leadership positions at Dupont or its formerly affiliated companies, including Platform Leader, Pharma Solutions for the Nutrition and Health business, Planning Director – Corporate Planning and M&A , Global Business Director – Electronics & Communications, and the North America Business Director – Building Innovations.
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Francisco Fortanet has served as our Executive Vice President, Global Operations Officer since August 2015. Prior to his current role, Mr. Fortanet held various leadership positions within the Company, including serving as Frutarom Integration lead and Senior Vice President, Operations, Vice President, Global Manufacturing Compounding, Vice President, Global Manufacturing, Regional Director of North America Operations, the Project Manager of a special project in Ireland, and as Plant Manager in Hazlet, New Jersey. Mr. Fortanet started his career in IFF-Mexico.
Jennifer Johnson has served as Executive Vice President, General Counsel since February 2021. From 2019 to February 2021, Dr. Johnson served as Associate General Counsel for the N&B Business. Dr. Johnson joined DuPont’s predecessor or formerly affiliated companies in 2013, where she led the legal team for DuPont’s former Industrial Biosciences business as Associate General Counsel and subsequently served as Assistant Chief Intellectual Property Counsel for Industrial Biosciences. Prior to joining DuPont, Dr. Johnson was a Partner at the law firm of Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, L.L.P.
Susana Suarez-Gonzalez has served as our Executive Vice President, Chief Human Resources and Diversity & Inclusion Officer since February 2021. From November 2016 to February 2021, Dr. Suarez-Gonzalez served as our Executive Vice President, Chief Human Resources Officer. From 2014 to 2016, Dr. Suarez-Gonzalez was Senior Vice President, Global Operations & Centers Expertise, Human Resources of Fluor Corporation, an engineering construction company. Dr. Suarez-Gonzalez began her career at Fluor Corporation in 1991, and during her 25 years with the company, she held various leadership positions across several business groups and functions including construction, marketing, sales, project engineering and human resources.
Vic Verma has served as our Executive Vice President, Chief Information Officer since February 2021 and had previously served as our Senior Vice President, Chief Information Officer from 2016 to February 2021. Before joining the Company, Mr. Verma served as Vice President of Global Infrastructure Operations at American Express, a multinational financial services company. Prior to that, Mr. Verma held several other leadership positions at American Express as well as Vice President, Division CIO and management consulting roles with GlaxoSmithKline, Bristol Myers Squibb and PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Gregory Yep has served as our Executive Vice President, Chief Research & Development, Global Integrated Solutions & Sustainability Officer since February 2021. From June 2016 to February 2021, he served as our Executive Vice President, Chief Research & Development and Sustainability Officer. From January 2015 to June 2016, Dr. Yep was Senior Vice President of Research, Development & Applications with The Kerry Group, a taste and nutrition company. Prior to The Kerry Group, Dr. Yep was Senior Vice President of R&D at PepsiCo, a multinational food, snack and beverage corporation, and was Global Vice President, Application Technologies at Givaudan Flavors and Fragrances, a multinational manufacturer of flavors, fragrances and active cosmetic ingredients. Earlier in his career, Dr. Yep was at McCormick & Company, a flavor, seasonings and spices company, where he held executive roles of increasing responsibility in food science.
Michael DeVeau has served as our Senior Vice President, Chief Investor Relations & Communications Officer since February 2021 and had previously served as our Vice President, Investor Relations, Communications, and Chief of Staff from September 2014 to February 2021, as well as divisional Chief Financial Officer, Scent from 2018 to 2020 and head of Corporate Strategy from 2016 to 2018. Since joining the Company in 2009 as head of investor relations, Mr. DeVeau has held various roles of increasing scope and responsibility in communications, finance and strategy. Prior to joining the Company, he served in leadership positions in investor relations, finance and corporate development at PepsiCo, a multinational food, snack and beverage company. Mr. DeVeau began his career as an Equity Research Analyst at Citigroup Investment Research.

ITEM 1A.RISK FACTORS.
Risk Factor Summary
The following summary highlights some of the principal risks that could adversely affect our business, financial condition or results of operations. This summary is not complete and the risks summarized below are not the only risks we face. These risks are discussed more fully further below in this section entitled “Risk Factors” in Item 1A. of this report. These risks include, but are not limited to, the following:
Inflationary trends in the price of our input costs, such as raw materials, transportation and energy, could adversely affect our business and financial results.
Supply chain disruptions, geopolitical developments or climate change events may adversely affect our suppliers or our procurement of raw materials, and thus may impact our business and financial results.
The COVID-19 pandemic may materially and adversely impact our operations, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
The integration of the N&B Business may continue to present significant challenges, and we may not fully realize anticipated synergies and other benefits of the N&B Transaction.
We have a substantial amount of indebtedness that could materially adversely affect our financial condition.
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We may not realize all the synergies and other benefits anticipated from the Frutarom acquisition, which could adversely affect our business.
If we are unable to successfully market to our expanded and diverse customer base, our operating results and future growth may be adversely affected.
Failure to successfully establish and manage acquisitions, collaborations, joint ventures or partnerships, or the failure to close or delays in closing strategic transactions or divestments, could adversely affect our growth.
Our business is highly competitive, and if we are unable to compete effectively our sales and results of operations will suffer.
Our success depends on attracting and retaining talented people within our business. Significant shortfalls in recruitment or retention could adversely affect our ability to compete and achieve our strategic goals.
A significant portion of our sales is generated from a limited number of large multi-national customers, which are currently under competitive pressures that may affect the demand for our products and profitability.
We may not successfully develop and introduce new products that meet our customers’ needs, which may adversely affect our results of operations.
Natural disasters, public health crises (such as the COVID-19 pandemic), international conflicts, terrorist acts, labor strikes, political crisis, accidents and other events could adversely affect our business and financial results by disrupting development, manufacturing, distribution or sale of our products.
A significant data breach or other disruption to our information technology systems could disrupt our operations, result in the loss of confidential information or personal data, and adversely impact our reputation, business or results of operations.
We have made investments in and continue to expand our business into emerging markets, which exposes us to certain risks.
The impact of currency fluctuation or devaluation in the international markets in which we operate may negatively affect our results of operations.
International economic, political, legal, compliance and business factors could negatively affect our financial statements, operations and growth.
Economic uncertainty, including increased inflation, may adversely affect demand for our products which may have a negative impact on our operating results and future growth.
If we are unable to react in a timely and cost-effective manner to changes in consumer trends, such as increasing awareness of health and wellness, our results of operations and future growth may be adversely affected.
We are subject to increasing customer, consumer, shareholder and regulatory focus on sustainability, which may result in additional costs in order to meet new requirements or integrate the N&B Business and Frutarom with our sustainability practices.
Our performance may be adversely impacted if we are not successful in managing our inventory and/or working capital balances.
Any impairment of our tangible or intangible long-lived assets, including goodwill, may adversely impact our profitability.
Our funding obligations for our pension and postretirement plans could adversely affect our earnings and cash flows.
The expected phase out of the London Interbank Office Rate (“LIBOR”) could impact the interest rates paid on our variable rate indebtedness and cause our interest expense to increase.
Our business may be negatively impacted as a result of the United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union.
If we are unable to comply with regulatory requirements and industry standards, including those regarding product safety, quality, efficacy and environmental impact, we could incur significant costs and suffer reputational harm which could adversely affect results of operations.
Defects, quality issues (including product recalls), inadequate disclosure or misuse with respect to the products and capabilities could adversely affect our business, reputation and results of operations.
Our results of operations may be negatively impacted by the outcome of uncertainties related to litigation.
Failure to comply with environmental protection laws may cause us to close, relocate or operate one or more of our plants at reduced production levels, and expose us to civil or criminal liability, which could adversely affect our operating results and future growth.
We could be adversely affected by violations of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act or similar U.S. or foreign anti-bribery and anti-corruption laws and regulations or applicable sanctions laws and regulations in the jurisdictions in which we operate.
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Our ability to compete effectively depends on our ability to protect our intellectual property rights.
Changes in our tax rates, the adoption of new U.S. or international tax legislation, or changes in existing tax laws could expose us to additional tax liabilities that may affect our future results.
The N&B Transaction could result in significant tax liability, and we may be obligated to indemnify DuPont for any such tax liability imposed on DuPont.
If we fail to comply with data protection laws in the U.S. and abroad, we may be subject to fines, penalties and other costs.
Risk Factors
We routinely encounter and address risks in conducting our business. Some of these risks may cause our future results to be different - sometimes materially different - than we presently anticipate. Below are material risks we have identified that could adversely affect our business. How we react to material future developments, as well as how our competitors and customers react to those developments, could also affect our future results.
Risks Related to Our Business and Industry
Inflationary trends in the price of our input costs, such as raw materials, transportation and energy, could adversely affect our business and financial results.
We have experienced, and may continue to experience, volatility and increases in the price of certain raw materials, transportation and energy costs as a result of global market and supply chain disruptions and the broader inflationary environment.
If we are unable to increase the prices to our customers of our products to offset inflationary cost trends, or if we are unable to achieve cost savings to offset such cost increases, we could fail to meet our cost expectations, and our profits and operating results could be adversely affected. Our ability to price our products competitively to timely reflect higher input costs is critical to maintain and grow our sales. Increases in prices of our products to customers or the impact of the broader inflationary environment on our customers and may lead to declines in demand and sales volumes. Further, we may not be able to accurately predict the volume impact of price increases, especially if our competitors are able to more successfully adjust to such input cost volatility. Increasing our prices to our customers could result in long-term sales declines or loss of market share if our customers find alternative suppliers or choose to reformulate their consumer products to rely less on our products, which could have an adverse long-term impact on our results of operations.
Supply chain disruptions, geopolitical developments or climate-change events may adversely affect our suppliers or our procurement of raw materials, and thus may impact our business and financial results.
In connection with our manufacturing of our products, we often rely on third party suppliers for raw materials. We use many different raw materials for our business, such as essential oils, extracts and concentrates derived from fruits, vegetables, flowers, woods and other botanicals, animal products, raw fruits, organic chemicals and petroleum-based chemicals, as well as, gelatin, glycols, cellulose processed grains, guar, locust bean gum, organic vegetable oils, peels, saccharides, seaweed, soybeans, and sugars and yeasts.
Supply chain disruptions, such as the ones related to the COVID-19 pandemic, may impair or delay our ability to obtain sufficient quantities of certain raw materials through our ordinary supply channels and cause us to incur higher costs by procuring raw materials from other sources in order to compensate for such delays or lack of availability.
In addition, our suppliers, similar to us, are subject to risks, inherent in agriculture, manufacturing and distribution on a global scale, including industrial accidents, environmental events, climate change, strikes and other labor disputes, disruptions in supply chain or information systems, disruption or loss of key research or manufacturing sites, product quality control, safety and environmental compliance issues, licensing requirements and other regulatory issues, as well as natural disasters, global or local health crisis, international conflicts, terrorist acts, geopolitical developments, trade wars, and other external factors over which neither they nor we have control. These suppliers also could become insolvent or experience other financial distress. For example, in 2017, a fire at the manufacturing facility of BASF Group (“BASF”), one of our suppliers, caused them to declare a force majeure event which resulted in industry disruption due to the lack of availability of certain ingredients used in many fragrance compounds.
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If our suppliers are unable to supply us with sufficient quantities of ingredients and raw materials to meet our needs, we would need to seek alternative sources of such materials (which may result in higher transportation or procurement costs) or pursue our own production of such ingredients or direct acquisition of such raw materials. However, for certain of our ingredients and raw materials we rely on a limited number of suppliers where there are not readily available alternatives. If we are unable to obtain or manufacture alternative sources of such ingredients or raw materials at a similar cost, we may seek to (i) reformulate our products and/or (ii) increase pricing to reflect the higher supply cost. To mitigate our sourcing risk, we maintain strategic stock levels for critical items. However, if we do not accurately estimate the amount of raw materials that will be used for the geographic region in which we will need these materials or competitively price our products, our margins could be adversely affected.
At the same time, climate-change related disruptions, like the February 2021 winter storm in Texas, may affect the availability, quality and pricing of raw materials. There is growing evidence that carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere may have an adverse impact on global temperatures, weather and precipitation patterns, growing and harvesting conditions (both on land and in the sea), and the frequency and severity of extreme weather and natural disasters, such as floods, wildfires, droughts and water scarcity. To the extent such climate change effects have a negative impact on crop size and quality, supply chain, energy or transportation costs, it could impact the availability, quality and pricing of affected raw materials. Climate related policies and energy production restrictions and pricing may exacerbate such negative impacts.
More generally, as we source many of our raw materials globally to help ensure quality control or to mitigate supply chain disruptions, we are subject to additional risks related to the increases to energy or transportation costs. Energy prices are in turn subject to significant volatility caused by, among other things, market fluctuations, supply and demand, currency fluctuations, production and transportation disruptions, geopolitical developments, and other world events, as well as climate change related conditions discussed above. For instance, the Russia-Ukraine conflict could adversely impact, among other things, our raw material, energy and transportation costs, as well as certain of our suppliers and local markets, global and local macroeconomic conditions, and cause further supply chain disruptions.
If we are not able to successfully mitigate such supply chain and climate-change related risks, we could experience disruptions in production or increased costs, which may result in decrease in our gross margin or reduced sales, and have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.
The COVID-19 pandemic may materially and adversely impact our operations, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization designated COVID-19 as a global pandemic. Since then, government and local authorities, including those in countries where we have manufacturing and other operations, have taken various measures to contain the spread of the pandemic, including the closure of non-essential businesses, reduced travel, the closure of retail establishments, the promotion of social distancing and remote working policies where appropriate.
While increase in vaccination rates and new treatment measures have proven effective to date, the COVID-19 pandemic remains a serious threat to the health of the world's population and certain countries and regions continue to suffer from outbreaks or have seen a resurgence of infections, especially with the emergence of new variants of the virus. The continuing uncertainty related to the COVID-19 pandemic leads to continued volatility and risk of new government restrictions or market disruptions. The scope, location and timing of such restrictions or disruptions (if any) are difficult to predict and may materially impact our operations in the future. The pandemic may also affect our operating and financial results in a manner that is not presently known to us or that we currently do not expect to present significant risks.
The COVID-19 pandemic has subjected and may continue to subject our operations, financial condition and results of operations to a number of risks, including, but not limited to, those discussed below:
Supply chain-related risks: As a result of disruptions or uncertainty relating to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are experiencing, and may continue to experience, increased costs, delays or limited availability related to raw materials, strain on shipping and transportation resources, and higher energy prices, which have negatively impacted, and may continue to negatively impact, our margins and operating results.
Customer-related risks: We experienced, and may experience in the future, changes in the demand and volume for certain of our products, including due to consumption or stocking behavior changes related to the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, ingredients used in products sold mainly in retail outlets, such as fine fragrances or products used in retail food services, experienced a decrease in demand as these outlets closed due to COVID-19 related restrictions. We received requests for extensions in payment terms from some customers in select markets whose products experienced reduced demand. While conditions have since improved, any resurgence of COVID-19, new variants, or new government measures imposed, including new vaccine mandates, to manage the spread of the pandemic could further exacerbate this risk.
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Operations-related risks: Although our sites have restored operations to historical levels, there is a risk that our operations may be affected if employees are infected at high rates or if new restrictions are reintroduced. While we are following the requirements of governmental authorities and taking additional protective measures (such as mandatory site guidelines and return-to-workplace protocols) to ensure the safety of our workforce, to the extent that employees in our manufacturing or distribution centers contract COVID-19, we may need to temporarily close those facilities, which may result in reduced production hours, inability to deliver products to our customers and reduced sales. Additionally, compliance with vaccine mandates to the extent they are imposed in the jurisdictions in which we operate may lead to employee absences, resignations, or labor shortages. Any such mandates may also affect our suppliers, which could disrupt our access to raw materials and exacerbate supply-chain related risks.
Although we do not currently anticipate any impairment charges related to COVID-19, the continuing effects of a prolonged pandemic could result in increased risk to us of asset write-downs and impairments, including, but not limited to, property, plant and equipment, goodwill and other intangibles, and equity investments. Any of these events could potentially result in a material adverse impact on our business and results of operations.
The integration of the N&B Business may continue to present significant challenges, and we may not realize anticipated synergies and other benefits of the N&B Transaction.
The combination of large, diverse and independent businesses is complex, costly and time-consuming. The combination with the N&B Business may also result in material unanticipated problems, expenses, liabilities, competitive responses, employee turnover and loss of customer and other business relationships. In addition, even if the operations of the N&B Business are integrated successfully, the full benefits of the transaction may not be realized, including, among others, the synergies, cost savings or revenue growth that are expected. These benefits may not be achieved within the anticipated time frame or at all.
The difficulties of integration or realizing the full benefits of the N&B Transaction include, among others:
the diversion of management’s attention to integration matters;
integrating operations and systems, including communications systems, administrative and information technology infrastructure and financial reporting and internal control systems, some of which may prove to be incompatible;
conforming standards, controls, procedures and accounting and other policies, business cultures and compensation structures between the businesses;
integrating employees and attracting and retaining key personnel, including talent;
retaining relationships with existing or new customers and suppliers;
integrating and managing the expanded operations of a significantly larger and more complex company;
liabilities that are larger than expected or potential unknown liabilities, adverse consequences and unforeseen increased expenses associated with the transaction;
restrictions until February 2023 that may limit our ability to pursue certain strategic transactions, including issuing IFF common stock for acquisitions and equity capital market transactions, or disposing of certain businesses that would otherwise increase the value of our business, if such transaction(s) could cause certain aspects of the N&B Transaction and certain DuPont historic transactions to fail to qualify as tax-free transactions;
successfully exiting transitional services agreement entered into with DuPont in connection with the N&B Transaction without impacting the continuity or quality of such services or incurring materially increased costs; and
our ability to negotiate terms that are as favorable as those DuPont had received, as we replace or renew contracts following the N&B Transaction and the loss of the DuPont brand recognition for the N&B Business.
The failure to meet the challenges involved in integrating the businesses and to realize the anticipated benefits of the transaction could result in a material adverse impact on our business and results of operations.
We have a substantial amount of indebtedness that could materially adversely affect our financial condition.
As of December 31, 2021, our total debt was $11.400 billion. Despite our level of indebtedness, we expect to continue to have the ability to borrow additional debt. There may be circumstances in which required payments of principal and/or interest on our debt could adversely affect our cash flows, our operating results or our ability to return capital to our shareholders. Furthermore, our degree of leverage could adversely affect our future credit ratings. If we are unable to maintain or improve our current investment grade rating, it could adversely affect our future cost of funding, liquidity and access to capital markets. In addition, our current level of leverage could increase our vulnerability to sustained, adverse macroeconomic weakness, limit our ability to obtain further financing, and our ability to pursue certain operational and strategic opportunities, including large acquisitions. Our level of indebtedness as well as our failure to comply with covenants under our debt instruments, could adversely affect our business, results of operation and financial condition or our ability to return capital to our shareholders and the additional debt instruments may subject us to additional covenants.
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We may not realize all the synergies and other benefits anticipated from the Frutarom acquisition, which could adversely affect our business.
The full benefits of the Frutarom acquisition depend on the continuing realization of cost synergies through global footprint optimization across manufacturing, the realization of procurement synergies, organizational and operational efficiencies in overhead expenses, as well as revenue growth and synergies by leveraging customer relationships across a much broader customer base and cross-selling legacy IFF and Frutarom capabilities. These benefits and the expected revenue growth may not be achieved within the anticipated time frame or at all. Further, additional unanticipated costs may be incurred as we continue to work towards achieving the full cost and revenue synergies. If the anticipated benefits from the Frutarom acquisition are not fully realized, or take longer to realize than expected, the value of our common stock, revenues, levels of expenses and results of operations may be adversely affected.
If we are unable to successfully market to our expanded and diverse customer base, our operating results and future growth may be adversely affected.
As a result of our acquisition of Frutarom and the N&B Transaction, the number of our customers significantly increased and became more diverse. Our historical customer base was primarily comprised of large and medium-sized food, beverage and consumer products companies. With the completion of the N&B Transaction, our customer base has further increased significantly and, based on 2021 sales, we had approximately 42,000 customers, approximately 59% of which are small and mid-sized companies. This substantial increase in and diversity of our customer base has required us and may continue to require us to adjust, among other things, our product development, manufacturing, distribution, marketing, customer relationship and sales strategy as well as adapt corporate, information technology, finance and administrative infrastructures to support different go-to-market models. We may experience difficulty managing the growth of a portfolio of customers that is more diverse in terms of its geographical presence as well as with respect to the types of services they require and the infrastructure required to deliver our products. If we are unable to successfully gain market share or maintain our relationships with these customers, our future growth could be adversely affected.
Failure to successfully establish and manage acquisitions, collaborations, joint ventures or partnerships, or the failure to close strategic transactions or divestments, could adversely affect our growth.
From time to time, we evaluate acquisition candidates that may strategically fit our business and/or growth objectives. If we are unable to successfully integrate and develop acquired businesses, we could fail to achieve anticipated synergies and cost savings, including any expected increase in revenues and operating results, which could have a material adverse effect on our financial results. Furthermore, even if successfully integrated, the acquisition target may fail to further the Company’s business strategy as anticipated, expose the Company to increased competition or other challenges with respect to the Company’s products or geographic markets, and expose the Company to additional liabilities associated with the acquired business, technology or other asset or arrangement. We may also incur asset impairment charges related to acquisitions if we fail to maintain and integrate the acquired businesses and such impairments charges would reduce our earnings.
We also evaluate and enter into collaborations, joint ventures or partnerships from time to time to enhance our research and development efforts or expand our product portfolios and technology. The process of establishing and maintaining collaborative relationships is difficult and time-consuming to negotiate, document and implement. We may not be able to successfully negotiate such arrangements or the terms of the arrangements may not be as favorable as anticipated. Furthermore, our ability to generate revenues from such collaborations will depend on our partners’ abilities and efforts to successfully perform the functions assigned to them in these arrangements and these collaborations may not lead to development or commercialization of products in the most efficient manner, or at all. In addition, from time to time, we have acquired, and we may acquire, only a majority interest in companies and provided or may provide earnouts for the former owners along with the ability, at our option, or obligation, at the former owners’ option, to purchase the minority interests at a future date at an established price. These investments may have additional risks and may not be as efficient as other operations as we may have fiduciary or contractual obligations to the minority investors and may rely on former owners for the continuing operation of the acquired business. If we are unable to successfully establish and manage these collaborative relationships and majority investments it could adversely affect our future growth.
In addition, from time to time we may enter into other strategic transactions or we may sell or divest certain non-core assets as part of our portfolio optimization strategy, such as the sale of the Microbial Control business which we expect will close in the second quarter of 2022, subject to customary closing conditions. The failure to complete or potential delays in closing any such transaction could adversely affect the development of our portfolio optimization strategy and our future growth.
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Our business is highly competitive, and if we are unable to compete effectively our sales and results of operations will suffer.
The markets in which we compete are highly competitive. We face vigorous competition from companies throughout the world, including multi-national and specialized companies active in flavors, fragrances, enzymes, pharmaceutical excipients, nutrition and specialty ingredients, as well as consumer product companies which may develop their own competing products. For instance, in the flavors industry, we face increasing competition from ingredient suppliers that have expanded their portfolios to include flavor offerings. Some of our competitors specialize in one or more of our product sub-segments, while others participate in many of our product sub-segments. In addition, some of our global competitors may have more resources than we do or may have proprietary products that could permit them to respond to changing business and economic conditions more effectively than we can. Consolidation of or partnerships among our competitors may exacerbate these risks.
As we continue to enter into adjacent markets, such as cosmetic ingredients, functional foods, specialty fine ingredients and nutrition products, we may face greater competition-related risks in these markets than with our other businesses. For example, the specialty fine ingredients market is more price sensitive than the flavors market and is characterized by relatively lower profit margins. Some fine ingredients products are less unique and more replaceable than competitors’ products. There is no assurance that operating margins will remain at current levels, which could substantially impact our business, operating results and financial condition.
Competition in our business is based, among other things, on innovation, product quality, regulatory compliance, pricing, quality of customer service, the support provided by marketing and application groups, and understanding of consumers. It is difficult for us to predict the timing, scale and success of our competitors’ actions in these areas. In particular, the discovery and development of new products, protection of our intellectual property and development and retention of key employees are critical to our ability to effectively compete in our business. Advancement in technologies have also enhanced the ability of our competitors to develop substitutable products. Increased competition by existing or future competitors, including aggressive price competition, could result in the loss of sales, reduced pricing and margin pressure and could adversely impact our sales and profitability.
Failing to identify and make capital expenditures to achieve growth opportunities, being unable to make new concepts scalable, or failing to effectively and timely reinvest in our business operations, could result in the loss of competitive position and adversely affect our financial condition or results of operations.
Our success depends on attracting and retaining talented people within our business. Significant shortfalls in recruitment or retention could adversely affect our ability to compete and achieve our strategic goals.
Attracting, developing, and retaining talented employees is essential to the successful delivery of our products and has become more difficult and costly in the current labor market with historically high employee resignations. Furthermore, as we continue to focus on innovation, our need for scientists and other professionals will increase and may result in increased labor costs. The ability to attract and retain talented employees is critical in the development of new products and technologies which is an integral component of our growth strategy.
Competition for employees can be intense and if we are unable to successfully integrate, motivate and reward the acquired Frutarom employees, employees from the N&B Business or our current employees in our combined company, we may not be able to retain them. If we are unable to retain these employees or attract new employees in the future, our ability to effectively compete with our competitors and to grow our business could be adversely affected.
A significant portion of our sales is generated from a limited number of large multi-national customers, which are currently under competitive pressures that may affect the demand for our products and profitability.
During 2021, our 25 largest customers, a majority of which were multi-national consumer products companies, collectively accounted for 29% of our sales in the aggregate. Large multi-national customers’ market share, especially in the consumer product industry, continues to be pressured by new smaller companies and specialty players that cater to or are more adept at adjusting to the latest consumer trends, including towards natural products and clean labels, changes in the retail landscape (including e-commerce and consolidation), and increased competition from private labels, which have resulted and may continue to result in decreased demand for our products by such multi-national customers and volume erosion, especially in our Nourish business. Furthermore, consolidations amongst our customers have resulted in larger and more sophisticated customers with greater buying power and additional negotiating strength. If such trends continue, our sales could be adversely impacted if we are not able to replace these sales.
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In addition, large multi-national customers and, increasingly middle market customers, continue to utilize “core lists” of suppliers to improve margins and profitability in the flavors and fragrance segments. Typically, these “core list" suppliers are then given priority for new or modified products. Recently, these customers are making inclusion on their “core lists” contingent upon a supplier providing more favorable terms, including rebates, which could adversely affect our margins. We must either offer competitive cost-in-use solutions to secure and maintain inclusion on these “core lists” or seek to manage the relationship without being on the “core-list.” If we choose not to pursue “core-list” status due to profitability concerns or if we are unable to obtain “core-list” status, our ability to maintain our share of these customers’ future purchases could be adversely affected and therefore our future results of operations.
We may not successfully develop and introduce new products that meet our customers’ needs, which may adversely affect our results of operations.
Our ability to differentiate ourselves and deliver growth largely depends on our ability to successfully develop and introduce new products and product improvements that meet our customers’ needs, and ultimately appeal to consumers. Innovation is a key element of our ability to develop and introduce new products. We cannot be certain that we will be successful in achieving our innovation goals, such as the development of new molecules, new and expanded delivery systems and other technologies. We currently spend approximately 5% of our sales on research and development; however, this investment level may vary in the future if available resources to invest in research and development are limited due to our ongoing integration and restructuring efforts. Our research and development investments may only generate future revenues to the extent that we are able to develop products that meet our customers’ specifications, are at an acceptable cost and achieve acceptance by the targeted consumer market. Furthermore, there may be significant lag times from the time we incur research and development costs to the time that these research and development costs may result in increased revenue.
Consequently, even when we “win” a project, our ability to generate revenues as a result of these investments is subject to numerous customer, economic and other risks that are outside of our control, including delays by our customers in the launch of a new product, the level of promotional support for the launch, poor performance of our third-party vendors, anticipated sales by our customers not being realized or changes in market preferences or demands, or disruptive innovations by competitors.
Natural disasters, public health crises (such as the COVID-19 pandemic), international conflicts, geopolitical events, terrorist acts, labor strikes, political crisis, accidents and other events could adversely affect our business and financial results by disrupting development, manufacturing, distribution or sale of our products.
As a company engaged in the global development, manufacture and distribution of products, we are subject to the risks inherent in such activities, including industrial accidents, environmental events, strikes and other labor disputes, product quality control issues, safety, licensing requirements and other regulatory issues, as well as natural disasters, public health crises, such as pandemics or epidemics, international conflicts, geopolitical events, terrorist acts and other external factors over which we have no control. For instance, the Russia-Ukraine conflict could adversely impact, among other things, certain of our local markets and suppliers, global and local macroeconomic conditions, foreign exchange rates and financial markets, raw material, energy and transportation costs, and cause further supply chain disruptions.
While we operate research and development, manufacturing and distribution facilities throughout the world, many of these facilities are extremely specialized and certain of our research and development or creative laboratories facilities are uniquely situated to support our research and development efforts while certain of our manufacturing facilities are the sole location where a specific ingredient or product is produced. If our research and development activities or the manufacturing of ingredients or products were disrupted, the cost of relocating or replacing these activities or reformulating these ingredients or products may be substantial, which could result in production or development delays or otherwise have an adverse effect on our margins, operating results and future growth.
A significant data breach or other disruption to our information technology systems could disrupt our operations, result in the loss of confidential information or personal data, and adversely impact our reputation, business or results of operations.
We rely on information technology systems, including some managed by third-party providers, to conduct business and support our business processes, including those relating to product formulas, product development, manufacturing, sales, order and invoice processing, production, distribution, internal communications and communications with third parties throughout the world, processing transactions, summarizing and reporting results of operations, complying with regulatory, tax or legal requirements, and collecting and storing customer, supplier, employee and other stakeholder information. Cybersecurity incidents, data breaches and operational disruptions are constantly evolving, becoming more sophisticated and are conducted by groups and individuals with a wide range of expertise and motives, including foreign governments, cyber terrorists, cyber criminals and malicious employees and other insiders and outsiders. We and our third-party providers are subject to risks posed by such incidents, which can take many forms, including code anomalies, “Acts of God,” data leakage, hardware or software failures, human error, cyber extortion, password theft or introduction of viruses, malware, and ransomware, including through phishing emails.
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A disruption to our information technology systems could result in the loss of confidential business, customer, supplier or employee information, litigation or fines and may require substantial investigations, repairs or replacements, or impact our ability to summarize and report financial results in a timely manner, resulting in significant financial, legal, and relational costs and potentially harming our reputation and adversely impacting our operations, customer service and results of operations. As we work on integrating N&B’s and Frutarom’s systems with IFF’s systems, these risks may be exacerbated. Additionally, a security or data breach could require us to devote significant management and financial resources to address the problems created, and, as a result of the private rights of action provided for under the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (the “GDPR”), the California Consumer Privacy Act (the “CCPA”) and other laws relating to data protection and privacy in other jurisdictions, in the event of such breaches, additional private litigation against us may result. These types of adverse impacts could also occur in the event the confidentiality, integrity or availability of company, customer, supplier or employee information are compromised due to a data loss by us or a trusted third party. We or the third parties with which we share information may not discover any such incidents and loss of information for a significant period of time after the incident occurs. In addition, our remote work arrangements, as a result of COVID-19, may pose challenges for our employees and our IT systems and extended periods of remote work arrangements could introduce operational risk, including cybersecurity and IT systems management risks.
Although we have developed systems and processes that are designed to protect our data and customer data and to prevent data loss and other security breaches and expect to continue to expend additional resources to bolster these protections, these security measures cannot provide absolute security and we may be unable to detect or prevent a breach or disruption in the future. Additionally, while we have insurance coverage designed to address certain aspects of cyber risks in place, such insurance coverage may be insufficient to cover all losses or all types of claims that may arise.
We have made investments in and continue to expand our business into emerging markets, which exposes us to certain risks.
As part of our growth strategy, we have increased our presence in emerging markets by expanding our manufacturing presence, sales organization and product offerings in these markets, and we expect to continue to expand our business in these markets. With our acquisition of Frutarom in 2018 and the N&B Transaction, each of which also had a significant presence in emerging markets, our business in these markets has meaningfully grown. In addition to the currency and international risks described below, our operations in these markets may be subject to a variety of other risks. Emerging markets typically have a consumer base with limited or fluctuating disposable income and customer demand in these markets may fluctuate accordingly. As a result, decrease in customer demand in emerging markets may have an adverse effect on our ability to execute our growth strategy.
Further, there is no assurance that our existing products, variants of our existing products or new products that we make, manufacture, distribute or sell will be accepted or be successful in any particular developing or emerging market, due to local or global competition, product price, cultural differences, consumer preferences or otherwise. In addition, emerging markets may have weak legal systems which may affect our ability to enforce our intellectual property and contractual rights, exchange controls, unstable governments and privatization or other government actions that may affect taxes, subsidies and incentive programs and the flow of goods and currency. In conducting our business, we move products from one country to another and may provide services in one country from a subsidiary located in another country. Accordingly, we are vulnerable to abrupt changes in trade, customs and tax regimes in these markets. If we are unable to expand our business in developing and emerging markets, effectively operate, or manage the risks associated with operating in these markets, or achieve the return on capital we expect from our investments in these markets, our operating results and future growth could be adversely affected.
The impact of currency fluctuation or devaluation in the international markets in which we operate may negatively affect our results of operations.
We have significant operations outside the U.S., the results of which are reported in the local currency and then translated into U.S. dollars at applicable exchange rates for inclusion in our consolidated financial statements. The exchange rates between these currencies and the U.S. dollar have fluctuated and will continue to do so in the future, with the fluctuations being particularly pronounced in certain emerging markets. Changes in exchange rates between these local currencies and the U.S. dollar will affect the recorded levels of sales, profitability, assets and/or liabilities. Additionally, volatility in currency exchange rates may adversely impact our financial condition, cash flows or liquidity. Although we employ a variety of techniques to mitigate the impact of exchange rate fluctuations, including sourcing strategies and a limited number of foreign currency hedging activities, we cannot guarantee that such hedging and risk management strategies will be effective, and our results of operations could be adversely affected.
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International economic, political, legal, compliance and business factors could negatively affect our financial statements, operations and growth.
We operate on a global basis, with manufacturing and sales facilities in or supply arrangements with companies based in the U.S., Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, and Greater Asia. During 2021, approximately 72% of our combined net sales were to customers outside the U.S. and we intend to continue expansion of our international operations. As a result, our business is increasingly exposed to risks inherent in international operations. These risks, which can vary substantially by location, include the following:
governmental laws, regulations and policies adopted to manage national economic and macroeconomic conditions, such as increases in taxes, austerity measures that may impact consumer spending, monetary policies that may impact inflation rates, employment regulations, currency fluctuations or controls and sustainability of resources;
changes in environmental, health and safety permits or regulations, such as regulations related to biodiversity or the continued implementation and evolution of the European Union’s REACH regulations and similar regulations that are being evaluated and adopted in other markets, or the ban on microplastics proposed by European Commission and the burdens and costs of our compliance with such regulations which may differ significantly across jurisdictions;
increased product labeling and ingredient prohibitions in specific markets that may impact consumer preferences, products costs and/or customer acceptance;
the imposition of or changes in customs, tariffs, quotas, trade barriers, other trade protection measures, import or export licensing requirements, and sanctions on trade with certain countries, imposed by the U.S. or other countries, which could adversely affect our cost or ability to import raw materials or export our products to surrounding markets;
risks and costs arising from our ability to cater to local demand and customer preferences, language and cultural differences;
changes in the laws and policies that govern foreign investment in the countries in which we operate, including the risk of expropriation or nationalization, the costs and ability to repatriate the profit that we generate in these countries;
risks and costs associated with complying with anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing laws;
risks and costs associated with political and economic instability, bribery and corruption, anti-American sentiment, and social and ethnic unrest in the countries in which we operate;
difficulty in recruiting and retaining trained local personnel;
natural disasters, global or local health crisis, pandemics (such as the COVID-19 pandemic), epidemics or international conflicts, including terrorist acts, political crisis, national and regional labor strikes in the countries in which we operate, which could endanger our personnel, interrupt our operations or adversely affect the demand for our products, the results of certain regions or our global supply chain; or
the risks of operating in developing or emerging markets in which there are significant uncertainties regarding the interpretation, application and enforceability of laws and regulations and the enforceability of contract rights and intellectual property rights.
The occurrence of any one or more of these factors could increase our costs and adversely affect our results of operations.
Economic uncertainty, including increased inflation, may adversely affect demand for our products which may have a negative impact on our operating results and future growth.
Many of our products are ingredients in a wide assortment of global consumer products throughout the world. Historically, demand for consumer products using our products, was stimulated and broadened by changing social habits and consumer needs, population growth, an expanding global middle-class and general economic growth, especially in emerging markets.
Changes in the global, regional or local economic conditions have, and may in the near future, adversely impact demand for consumer products at a regional or global level. Such parameters include, but are not limited to, increased inflation, unemployment and underemployment, salaries and wage rates stagnation, and low growth rates. Reduced consumer spending may cause changes in our customer orders including reduced demand for our products, or order cancellations. The timing of placing of orders and the amounts of these orders are generally at our customers’ discretion. Customers may cancel, reduce or postpone orders with us on relatively short notice. Significant cancellations, reductions or delays in orders by customers could affect our quarterly results.
Recently, impacts of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic have resulted in increased volatility and economic uncertainty, and may lead to significant negative impacts on consumer spending, demand for our products, the ability for our customers to pay or our suppliers to supply, our financial condition and the financial condition of our suppliers or customers. Even prior to COVID-19, the global economy had experienced significant recessionary pressures and declines in consumer confidence and economic growth, and if those conditions emerge again or the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic continues, our operating results and future growth may be adversely affected.
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If we are unable to react in a timely and cost-effective manner to changes in consumer trends, such as increasing awareness of health and wellness our results of operations and future growth may be adversely affected.
We must continually anticipate and react, in a timely and cost-effective manner, to changes in consumer preferences and demands, including changes in demand driven by increasing awareness of health and wellness and demands for transparency or cleaner labels with respect to product ingredients by consumers and regulators. Consumers, especially in developed economies such as the U.S. and Western Europe, are rapidly shifting away from products containing artificial ingredients to all-natural, healthier alternatives. In addition, there has been a growing demand by consumers, non-governmental organizations and, to a lesser extent, governmental agencies to provide more transparency in product labeling and our customers have been taking steps to address this demand, including by voluntarily providing product-specific ingredients disclosure. These two trends could affect the types and volumes of our ingredients and compounds that our customers include in their consumer product offerings and, therefore, affect the demand for our products. If we are unable to react to or anticipate these trends in a timely and cost-effective manner, our results of operations and future growth may be adversely affected.
We are subject to increasing customer, consumer, shareholder and regulatory focus on sustainability, which may result in additional costs in order to meet new requirements or integrate the N&B Business and Frutarom with our sustainability practices.
Federal, state, local and foreign governments, our customers, consumers and shareholders are becoming increasingly sensitive to environmental and other sustainability issues. In response, we have committed to a sustainability strategy through which we continue to assess our combined environmental footprint following the N&B Transaction and the Frutarom acquisition, with the intent of identifying synergies, gaps and opportunities in our sustainability efforts.
As part of our assessment so far, we have been upgrading Frutarom’s sustainability practices to better align them to our legacy IFF practices and we are also integrating the N&B Business’ practices, both of which may require significant costs and time to implement. Our assessment may reveal additional gaps between the N&B Business or Frutarom operations on the one hand and our sustainability practices and goals on the other hand, which may require significant costs to remedy.
Despite our efforts, the increased focus on sustainability may result in new regulations and customer requirements that could affect us. These could cause us to incur additional direct costs or to make changes to our operations in order to comply with any new regulations and customer requirements. We could also lose revenue if our customers divert business from us because we have not complied with their sustainability requirements or if we are not successful in integrating N&B Business’ and Frutarom’s sustainability metrics. Increased shareholder activism with respect to sustainability or other governance issues or management concerns could also lead to increased costs. These potential costs, changes and loss of revenue could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.
Our performance may be adversely impacted if we are not successful in managing our inventory and/or working capital balances.
We evaluate our inventory balances of materials based on shelf life, expected sourcing levels, known uses and anticipated demand based on forecasted customer order activity and changes in our product/sales mix. Efficient inventory management is a key component of our business success, financial returns and profitability. To be successful, we must maintain sufficient inventory levels and an appropriate product/sales mix to meet our customers’ demands, without allowing those levels to increase to such an extent that the costs associated with storing and holding other inventory adversely impact our financial results. If our buying decisions do not accurately predict sourcing levels, customer trends or our expectations about customer needs are inaccurate, we may have to take unanticipated markdowns or impairment charges to dispose of the excess or obsolete inventory, which can adversely impact our financial results. Current supply-chain related issues could also lead to raw material shortages and inventory depletion, which may adversely affect our operations. See “—Supply chain disruptions or climate-change events may adversely affect our suppliers or our procurement of raw materials, and thus may impact our business and financial results.” Additionally, we believe excess inventory levels of raw materials with a short shelf life in our manufacturing facilities subjects us to the risk of increased inventory shrinkage. If we are not successful in managing our inventory balances and shrinkage, our results of and cash flows from operations may be negatively affected.
We sell certain accounts receivable on a non-recourse basis to unrelated financial institutions under “factoring” agreements, some of which are sponsored by certain customers. The cost of participating in these programs was immaterial to our results in all periods. Should we choose not to participate, or if these programs were no longer available, it could reduce our cash flows from operations in the period in which the arrangement ends.
Any impairment of our tangible or intangible long-lived assets, including goodwill, may adversely impact our profitability.
A significant portion of our assets consists of long-lived assets, including tangible assets such as our manufacturing facilities, and intangible assets, including goodwill and customer relationships.
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As a result of our recent acquisitions, including the acquisition of Frutarom and the N&B Transaction, as of December 31, 2021, we had recorded approximately $26.920 billion of intangible assets and goodwill, including $4.289 billion of goodwill associated with the acquisition of Frutarom and $11.817 billion of goodwill associated with the Merger with the N&B Business. Our results of operations and financial position in future periods could be negatively impacted should future impairments of our long-lived assets, including intangible assets or goodwill occur.
At least annually, we assess both goodwill and indefinite-lived intangible assets for impairment. We test for impairment by comparing the estimated fair value of a reporting unit with its carrying amount. If the carrying amount of a reporting unit exceeds its estimated fair value, we record an impairment charge based on the difference of the two. Intangible assets with finite lives are also tested for impairment when events or changes in circumstances indicate the carrying value may not be recoverable. Such events and changes in circumstances could include a sustained decrease in our market capitalization, increased competition or unexpected loss of market share, increased input costs beyond projections (for example due to regulatory or industry changes), our inability to recognize the anticipated benefits of acquisitions, unexpected business disruptions (for example due to a natural disaster, public health crises, such as pandemics or epidemics or loss of a customer, supplier, or other significant business relationship), acts by governments and courts, operating results falling short of projections, or significant adverse changes in the markets in which we operate.
Fair value determinations require considerable judgment and are sensitive to changes in underlying assumptions, estimates and market factors. Estimating the fair value of reporting units requires us to make assumptions and estimates regarding our business performance, future plans, future annual net cash flows, income tax considerations, discount rates, growth rates, and based on industry, economic, regulatory conditions and other market factors. Moreover, management will make significant accounting judgments and estimates for the application of acquisition accounting under GAAP, and the underlying valuation models. IFF’s business, operating results and financial condition could be materially and adversely impacted in future periods if IFF’s accounting judgments and estimates related to these models prove to be inaccurate.
To the extent any of our acquisitions, including the acquisitions of Frutarom and the N&B Business, do not perform as anticipated and our underlying assumptions and estimates related to their fair value determination are not met, whether due to internal or external factors, the value of such assets may be negatively affected and we may be required to record impairment charges.
Our funding obligations for our pension and postretirement plans could adversely affect our earnings and cash flows.
The funding obligations for our pension plans are impacted by the performance of the financial markets, particularly the equity markets and interest rates. Funding obligations are determined under government regulations and are measured each year based on the value of assets and liabilities on a specific date. If the financial markets do not provide the long-term returns that are expected under the governmental funding calculations, we could be required to make larger contributions. The equity markets can be very volatile, and therefore our estimate of future contribution requirements can change dramatically in relatively short periods of time. Similarly, changes in interest rates and legislation enacted by governmental authorities can impact the timing and amounts of contribution requirements. An adverse change in the funded status of the plans could significantly increase our required contributions in the future and adversely impact our liquidity.
Assumptions used in determining projected benefit obligations and the fair value of plan assets for our pension and other postretirement benefit plans are determined by us in consultation with outside consultants and advisors. In the event that we determine that changes are warranted in the assumptions used, such as the discount rate, expected long-term rate of return on assets, or expected health care costs, our future pension and postretirement benefit expenses could increase or decrease. Due to changing market conditions or changes in the participant population, the assumptions that we use may differ from actual results, which could have a significant impact on our pension and postretirement liabilities and related costs and funding requirements.
The expected phase out of the London Interbank Office Rate (“LIBOR”) could impact the interest rates paid on our variable rate indebtedness and cause our interest expense to increase.
In 2017, the United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority (the “FCA”), which regulates LIBOR, announced that it intends to phase out LIBOR by the end of 2021. It was unclear at that time whether or not LIBOR would cease to exist, if new methods of calculating LIBOR would be established such that it continues to exist after 2021 or if replacement conventions would be developed. In March 2021, the FCA confirmed that publication of all of the LIBOR settings for Euro, Sterling and Swiss Franc and some of the LIBOR settings for Japanese Yen and US dollars ceased in December 2021 and the remainder of the LIBOR settings for US dollars will cease in June 2023. To identify a successor rate for LIBOR, financial regulators in various countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, the European Union and Switzerland, have formed working groups with the aim of recommending alternatives to LIBOR denominated in their local currencies. Some of the financial regulators have identified the Secured Overnight Financing Rate (“SOFR”) as their preferred alternative rate for LIBOR.
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SOFR is observed and backward-looking, which stands in contrast with LIBOR under the current methodology, which is an estimated forward-looking rate and relies, to some degree, on the expert judgment of submitting panel members. Given that SOFR is a secured rate backed by government securities, it will be a rate that does not take into account bank credit risk (as is the case with LIBOR). Whether or not SOFR attains market traction as a LIBOR replacement tool remains in question. Although certain financial regulators have indicated their preference for SOFR as the preferred replacement rate for LIBOR, it is unclear if other benchmarks may emerge or if other rates will be adopted. As such, the future of LIBOR is uncertain.
Even if the financial instruments transition to using alternative benchmarks like SOFR successfully, the new benchmarks are likely to differ from LIBOR, as the alternative benchmark rate may be calculated differently. Borrowings under our revolving credit and term loan facilities are at variable interest rates based on LIBOR. Although our revolving credit and term loan facilities include mechanics to facilitate the adoption by us and our lenders of an alternative benchmark rate in place of LIBOR, no assurance can be made that such alternative rate will perform in a manner similar to LIBOR and may result in interest rates that are higher or lower than those that would have resulted had LIBOR remained in effect. Further, transitioning to an alternative benchmark rate, such as SOFR, may result in us incurring expense and legal risks, as renegotiation and changes to documentation may be required in effecting the transition. Any of these occurrences could materially and adversely affect our borrowing costs, financial condition, and results of operations.
Our business may be negatively impacted as a result of the United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union.
We currently manufacture goods in the United Kingdom for distribution in the European Union and vice-versa and therefore may be adversely affected as a result of the United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union (“Brexit”) in 2020. The impact of the withdrawal has and may continue to, among other outcomes, exacerbate the disruption of the free movement of goods, services and people between the United Kingdom and the European Union, undermine bilateral cooperation in key geographic areas and significantly disrupt trade between the United Kingdom and the European Union or other nations as the United Kingdom pursues independent trade relations. In addition, Brexit has and continues to cause legal uncertainty, which could last indefinitely, and may potentially create divergent national laws and regulations as the United Kingdom determines which European Union laws to replace or replicate. Given the lack of comparable precedent, it is unclear what the financial, trade and legal implications of the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union will be and how the withdrawal will continue to affect us. Adverse consequences concerning Brexit or the European Union could include deterioration in global economic conditions, instability in global financial markets, political uncertainty, volatility in currency exchange rates, or adverse changes in the cross-border agreements currently in place, any of which could have an adverse impact on our financial results in the future.
Risks Related to Legal and Regulatory Considerations
If we are unable to comply with regulatory requirements and industry standards, including those regarding product safety, quality, efficacy and environmental impact, we could incur significant costs and suffer reputational harm which could adversely affect results of operations.
The development, manufacture and sale of our products are subject to various regulatory requirements in each of the countries in which our products are developed, manufactured and sold. In addition, we are subject to product safety and compliance requirements established by governments, non-governmental organizations, including industry or similar oversight bodies, or contractually by our customers, including requirements concerning product safety, quality and efficacy, environmental impacts (including packaging, energy and water use and waste management) and other sustainability or similar issues. Changes to regulations or the implementation of additional regulations, especially in certain highly regulated markets we are active in, such as regulatory modernization of food safety laws and evolving standards and regulations affecting pharmaceutical excipients, microbials, or in reaction to new or next-generation technologies, including advances in protein engineering, gene editing and gene mapping, or novel uses of existing technologies has required and may in the future require us to reduce or remove certain ingredients, substances or processing aids from the product portfolio and may result in significant costs or capital expenditures or require changes in business practice that could result in reduced margins or profitability.
We use a variety of strategies, methodologies and tools to minimize the likelihood of product or process non-compliance with these regulations and standards by (i) monitoring regulatory developments and current product standards, (ii) assessing relative risks in our supply chain, (iii) monitoring internal and external performance and (iv) testing raw materials and finished goods. As concerns regarding safety, quality and environmental impact become more pressing, we may see new, more restrictive regulations adopted that impact our products. For example, the European Chemicals Agency has proposed that the European Commission adopt a ban on microplastics, including those found in personal care items, detergents and cosmetics, to reduce plastics pollution. If this ban is adopted, we will be required to modify our products and/or innovate new solutions to replace microplastics in our products. If we are unable to adapt to these new regulations or standards in a cost effective and timely manner, we may lose business to competitors who are able to provide compliant products, expose ourselves to customer claims, regulatory fines, litigation or reputational damage.
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Gaps in our operational processes or those of our suppliers or distributors can result in products that do not meet our quality control or industry standards or fail to comply with the relevant regulatory requirements, which in turn can result in finished consumer goods that do not comply with applicable standards and requirements. Products that are mislabeled, contaminated or damaged could result in a regulatory non-compliance event or even a product recall by the FDA or a similar foreign agency. For instance, the Company determined that certain grades of microcrystalline cellulose (Avicel® PH 101, 102, and 200 NF and Avicel® RC-591 NF) were found to be out-of-specification (collectively, “OOS Avicel® NF”). Although the Company does not expect this issue to affect the functionality of Avicel® NF grades or to pose a human health hazard, corrective actions have been implemented to improve operational and laboratory conditions.
We may also be exposed to serious adverse health claims related to undetected poor quality of raw materials, internal system failures to adequately reduce or eliminate certain hazards (such as pathogens, allergens, contaminants, pesticides, physical hazards, etc.) or products that are not in line with required or agreed specifications. Supply chain complexities, aging equipment and infrastructure, human errors, or other failures may exacerbate such risks.
Our contracts often require us to indemnify our customers for the costs associated with a product non-compliance event, including penalties, costs and settlements arising from litigation, remediation costs or loss of sales. As our offerings are used in many products intended for human use or consumption, these consequences would be exacerbated if we or our customer did not identify the defect before the product reaches the consumer and there was a resulting impact at the consumer level. Such a result could lead to potentially large-scale adverse publicity, negative effects on consumer’s health, recalls and potential litigation, fines, penalties, sanctions or other regulatory actions. In addition, if we do not have adequate insurance or contractual indemnification from suppliers or other third parties, or if insurance or indemnification is not available, the liability relating to product or possible third-party claims arising from mislabeled, contaminated or damaged products could adversely affect our business, financial condition or results of operations. Furthermore, adverse publicity about our products, or our customers’ products that contain our ingredients, including concerns about product safety or similar issues, whether real or perceived, could harm our reputation and result in an immediate adverse effect on our sales and customer relationships, as well as require us to utilize significant resources to rebuild our reputation.
Defects, quality issues (including product recalls), inadequate disclosure or misuse with respect to the products and capabilities could adversely affect our business, reputation and results of operations.
Defects in, misuse of, quality issues with respect to (including products recalls) or inadequate disclosure of risks relating to our products, could lead to lost profits and other economic damage, property damage, personal injury or other liability resulting in third-party claims, criminal liability, significant costs, damage to our reputation and loss of business. Any of these factors could adversely affect our business, financial condition and our results of operations.
Our results of operations may be negatively impacted by the outcome of uncertainties related to litigation.
From time to time we are involved in a number of legal claims, regulatory investigations and litigation, including claims related to intellectual property, product liability, environmental matters and indirect taxes. For instance, product liability claims may arise due to the fact that we supply products to the food and beverage, functional food, pharma/nutraceutical and personal care industries. Our manufacturing and other facilities may expose us to environmental claims and regulatory investigations and potential fines.
In addition, in light of our product offerings into functional food, nutraceuticals, and natural antioxidants, we may also be subject to claims of false or deceptive advertising claims relating to the efficacy, health benefits or other performance attributes of such offerings in the U.S., Europe and other foreign jurisdictions in which we offer these types of products. These claims can arise as a result of function claims, health claims, nutrient content claims and other claims that impermissibly suggest such benefits or attributes for certain foods or food components. The cost of defending these claims or our obligations for direct damages and indemnification if we were found liable could adversely affect our results of operations.
As a result of the N&B Transaction and the Frutarom acquisition, we assumed legal or environmental claims, regulatory investigations, and litigation, including product liability, patent infringement, commercial litigation and other actions, and we may become involved in additional actions in the future arising from the acquired operations. Specifically, as the N&B Business and Frutarom had a significant number of facilities located globally and a large number of customers, our exposure to legal claims, regulatory and environmental investigations and litigation may increase. This could result in an increase in our cost for defense or settlement of claims or indemnification obligations if we were to be found liable in excess of our historical experience.
In addition, we are also the subject of a putative shareholder class action lawsuit filed in August 2019 after we disclosed that preliminary results of investigations indicated that Frutarom businesses operating principally in Russia and Ukraine had made improper payments to representatives of customers.
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Our insurance may not be adequate to protect us from all material expenses related to pending and future claims and our current levels of insurance may not be available in the future at commercially reasonable prices. Any of these factors could adversely affect our profitability and results of operations.
Failure to comply with environmental protection laws may cause us to close, relocate or operate one or more of our plants at reduced production levels, and expose us to civil or criminal liability, which could adversely affect our operating results and future growth.
Our business operations and properties procure, make use of, manufacture, sell, and distribute substances that are sometimes considered hazardous and are therefore subject to extensive and increasingly stringent federal, state, local and foreign laws and regulations pertaining to protection of the environment, including air emissions, sewage discharges, the use of hazardous materials, waste disposal practices and clean-up of existing environmental contamination.
Failure to comply with these laws and regulations or any future changes to them may result in significant consequences to us, including the need to close or relocate one or more of our production facilities, administrative, civil and criminal penalties, fines, sanctions, litigation, costly remediation measures, liability for damages and negative publicity. If we are unable to meet production requirements, we can lose customer orders, which can adversely affect our future growth or we may be required to make incremental capital investments to ensure supply. For example, we have completed negotiations with the Chinese government concerning the relocation of a second fragrance facility in China. Idling of facilities or production modifications has caused or may cause customers to seek alternate suppliers due to concerns regarding supply interruptions and these customers may not return or may order at reduced levels even once issues are remediated. If these non-compliance issues reoccur in China or occur or in any other jurisdiction, we may lose business and may be required to incur capital spending above previous expectations, close a plant, or operate a plant at significantly reduced production levels on a permanent basis, and our operating results and cash flows from operations may be adversely affected.
We could be adversely affected by violations of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act or similar U.S. or foreign anti-bribery and anti-corruption laws and regulations or applicable sanctions laws and regulations in the jurisdictions in which we operate.
The global nature of our business, our increased size and employee count, the significance of our international revenue, our focus on emerging markets and presence in regulated industries create various domestic and local regulatory challenges and subject us to risks associated with our international operations. The U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, or FCPA, and similar anti-bribery and anti-corruption laws and regulations in other countries generally prohibit companies and their intermediaries from making improper payments to foreign officials for the purpose of obtaining or keeping business or for other commercial advantage. In addition, U.S. public companies are required to maintain records that accurately and fairly represent their transactions and have an adequate system of internal accounting controls. Under the FCPA, U.S. companies may be held liable for the corrupt actions taken by directors, officers, employees, agents, or other strategic or local partners or representatives. As such, if we or our intermediaries fail to comply with the requirements of the FCPA or similar legislation, governmental authorities in the U.S. and elsewhere could seek to impose substantial civil and/or criminal fines and penalties which could have a material adverse effect on our business, reputation, operating results and financial condition.
We operate or may pursue opportunities in some jurisdictions, such as China, India, Brazil, Russia and Africa, that pose potentially elevated risks of fraud or corruption or increased risk of internal control issues. In certain jurisdictions, compliance with anti-bribery laws may conflict with local customs and practices. From time to time, we have conducted and will conduct internal investigations of the relevant facts and circumstances, control testing and compliance reviews, and take remedial actions, when appropriate, to help ensure that we are in compliance with applicable corruption and similar laws and regulations. For example, in August 2019, during the integration of Frutarom, we were made aware of allegations that two Frutarom businesses operating principally in Russia and Ukraine made certain improper payments, including to representatives of a number of customers. Our investigation substantiated the allegations that improper payments to representatives of customers were made and that key members of Frutarom’s senior management at the time were aware of such payments. We did not uncover any evidence suggesting that such payments had any connection to the U.S. In addition, Frutarom grew through rapid acquisition and, as part of our integration efforts, we have implemented our anti-corruption and similar policies throughout a number of those acquired companies, many of which were not previously subject to these U.S. laws.
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Given the international scope of our business, we also sell certain of our products to countries that are subject to U.S. and other sanctions under general authorizations regarding such products. Compliance with sanctions laws is highly technical and requires careful oversight, and it is possible that actions taken by us, our subsidiaries or our suppliers may cause us to be in breach with these laws, which could have a material adverse effect to our business. Detecting, investigating and resolving actual or alleged violations of the FCPA or other anti-bribery and anti-corruption laws and regulations is expensive, could consume significant time and attention of our senior management and could subject us to investigations and inquiries by governmental and other regulatory bodies. Any allegations of non-compliance with such laws and regulations could have a disruptive effect on our operations in such jurisdiction, including interruptions of business or loss of third-party relationships, which may negatively impact our results of operations or financial condition. Any determination that our operations or activities are not in compliance with such laws and regulations could expose us to severe criminal or civil penalties or other sanctions, significant fines, termination of necessary licenses and permits, and penalties or other sanctions that may harm our business and reputation.
Our ability to compete effectively depends on our ability to protect our intellectual property rights.
We rely on patents, trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets to protect our intellectual property rights. We often rely on trade secrets to protect our products, manufacturing processes, extract methodologies, and other processes, as this does not require us to publicly file information regarding our intellectual property. From time to time, a third party may claim that we have infringed upon or misappropriated their intellectual property rights, or a third party may infringe upon or misappropriate our intellectual property rights. We could incur significant costs in connection with legal actions to assert our intellectual property rights against third parties or to defend ourselves from third-party assertions of invalidity, infringement, misappropriation or other claims. Any settlement or adverse judgment resulting from such litigation could require us to obtain a license to continue to use the intellectual property rights that are the subject of the claim, or otherwise restrict or prohibit our use of such intellectual property rights. Any required licensing fees may not be available to us on acceptable terms, if at all. For those intellectual property rights that are protected as trade secrets, this litigation could result in even higher costs, and potentially the loss of certain rights, since we would not have a perfected intellectual property right that precludes others from making, using or selling our products or processes. The ongoing trend among our customers towards more transparent labeling could further diminish our ability to effectively protect our products.
We vigilantly protect our intellectual property rights, including trade secrets. We have designed and implemented internal controls intended to restrict access to and distribution of our respective intellectual property. Despite these precautions, our intellectual property is vulnerable to unauthorized access through employee error or actions, theft and cybersecurity incidents, and other security breaches. Protecting intellectual property related to biotechnology is particularly challenging because theft is difficult to detect and biotechnology can be self-replicating. Accordingly, the impact of such theft can be significant.
For intellectual property rights that we seek to protect through patents, we cannot be certain that these rights, if obtained, will not later be opposed, invalidated, or circumvented. In addition, even if such rights are obtained in the U.S., the laws of some of the other countries in which our products are or may be sold do not protect intellectual property rights to the same extent as the laws of the U.S. If other parties were to infringe on our intellectual property rights, or if our intellectual property rights were the subject of unauthorized access leading to competitive pressure or if a third party successfully asserted that we had infringed on their intellectual property rights, it could materially and adversely affect our future results of operations by, among other things, (i) being required to cease production and marketing or reducing the price that we could obtain in the marketplace for products which are based on such rights, (ii) increasing the royalty or other fees that we may be required to pay in connection with such rights, (iii) limiting the volume, if any, of such products that we can sell or (iv) resulting in significant litigation costs and potential liability.
Changes in our tax rates, the adoption of new U.S. or international tax legislation, or changes in existing tax laws could expose us to additional tax liabilities that may affect our future results.
We are subject to taxes in the U.S. and numerous foreign jurisdictions. Our future effective tax rates could be affected by changes in the mix of earnings in countries with differing statutory tax rates, changes in the valuation of deferred tax assets and liabilities, changes in liabilities for uncertain tax positions, cost of repatriations or changes in tax laws or their interpretation. Any of these changes could have a material adverse effect on our profitability.
We have and will continue to implement transfer pricing policies among our various operations located in different countries. These transfer pricing policies are a significant component of the management and compliance of our operations across international boundaries and overall financial results. Many countries routinely examine transfer pricing policies of taxpayers subject to their jurisdiction, challenge transfer pricing policies aggressively where there is potential non-compliance and impose significant interest charges and penalties where non-compliance is determined. However, governmental authorities could challenge these policies more aggressively in the future and, if challenged, we may not prevail. We could suffer significant costs related to one or more challenges to our transfer pricing policies.
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We are subject to the continual examination of our income tax returns by the Internal Revenue Service, state tax authorities and foreign tax authorities in those countries in which we operate, and we may be subject to assessments or audits in the future in any of the countries in which we operate. The final determination of tax audits and any related litigation could be materially different from our historical income tax provisions and accruals, and while we do not believe the results that follow would have a material adverse effect on our financial condition, such results could have a material effect on our income tax provision, net income or cash flows in the period or periods in which that determination is made.
In addition, a number of international legislative and regulatory bodies have proposed legislation and begun investigations of the tax practices of multi-national companies and, in the European Union, the tax policies of certain European Union member states. One of these efforts has been led by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, an international association of 34 countries including the U.S., which has finalized recommendations to revise corporate tax, transfer pricing, and tax treaty provisions in member countries. Since 2013, the European Commission (“EC”) has been investigating tax rulings granted by tax authorities in a number of European Union member states with respect to specific multi-national corporations to determine whether such rulings comply with European Union rules on state aid, as well as more recent investigations of the tax regimes of certain European Union member states. Under European Union law, selective tax advantages for particular taxpayers that are not sufficiently grounded in economic realities may constitute impermissible state aid. If the EC determines that a tax ruling or tax regime violates the state aid restrictions, the tax authorities of the affected European Union member state may be required to collect back taxes for the period of time covered by the ruling. In late 2015 and early 2016, the EC declared that tax rulings, related to other companies, by tax authorities in Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Belgium did not comply with the European Union state aid restrictions. If the EC or tax authorities in other jurisdictions were to successfully challenge tax rulings applicable to us in any of the member states in which we are subject to taxation or our internal intercompany arrangements, we could be exposed to increased tax liabilities.
In December 2017, the U.S. government enacted comprehensive tax legislation commonly referred to as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the “Tax Act”) that significantly revised the U.S. tax code effective January 1, 2018 by, among other things, lowering the corporate income tax rate from a top marginal rate of 35% to a flat 21%, limiting deductibility of interest expense and performance based incentive compensation, transitioning to a territorial system and creating new taxes associated with global operations. The Tax Act impacted our consolidated results of operations during 2021 and is expected to continue to impact our consolidated results of operations in future periods. In future periods, we expect that our effective tax rate will be impacted by the lower U.S. corporate tax rate that will initially be offset by the elimination of the deductibility of performance-based incentive compensation, and other provisions of the Tax Act that may impact us prospectively. However, the ultimate impact of the Tax Act will depend on additional regulatory or accounting guidance that may be issued with respect to the Tax Act and any operating and structural changes that we may undertake to permit us to benefit from the new, lower U.S. tax rate prospectively. This could adversely affect our results of operations.
The N&B Transaction could result in significant tax liability, and we may be obligated to indemnify DuPont for any such tax liability imposed on DuPont.
The completion of the N&B Transaction was conditioned upon the receipt by DuPont of an opinion that the transaction generally will qualify as a tax-free reorganization. The tax opinion was based upon various factual representations and assumptions, as well as certain undertakings made by DuPont, IFF and N&B. If any of those factual representations or assumptions were untrue or incomplete in any material respect, any undertaking was or is not complied with, or the facts upon which the opinion was based are materially different from the facts at the closing of the N&B Transaction, the transaction may not qualify (in whole or part) for tax-free treatment.
The N&B spin-off and certain aspects of the pre-spin-off internal reorganizations to form N&B could be taxable to DuPont if N&B or we were to engage in a “Spinco Tainting Act” (as defined in the Tax Matters Agreement, by and among DuPont, N&B and IFF, a form of which is attached to IFF’s registration statement on Form S-4 (Registration Number 333-238072)). A Spinco Tainting Act is generally any action (or inaction) within our control or under the control of N&B or their affiliates, any event involving our common stock or the common stock of N&B or any assets of N&B or its subsidiaries, or any breach by N&B or any of its subsidiaries of any factual representations, assumptions, or undertakings made by it, in each case, that would affect the non-recognition treatment of the spin-off and internal reorganizations for U.S. federal income tax purposes, as described above. Under the Tax Matters Agreement, we and N&B will be required to indemnify DuPont for any taxes resulting from a Spinco Tainting Act. If we or N&B were required to indemnify DuPont pursuant to the Tax Matters Agreement as described above, this indemnification obligation may be substantial and could have a material adverse effect on us, including with respect to its financial condition and results of operations.
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If we fail to comply with data protection laws in the U.S. and abroad, we may be subject to fines, penalties and other costs.
Legal requirements relating to the collection, storage, handling, use, disclosure, transfer, and security of personal data continue to evolve, and regulatory scrutiny in this area is increasing around the world. This regulatory environment is increasingly challenging and may present material obligations and risks to our business, including significantly expanded compliance burdens, restrictions on transfer of personal data, costs and enforcement risks. For example, the European Union’s GDPR, which became effective in May 2018, greatly increases the jurisdictional reach of EU law and adds a broad array of requirements related to personal data, including individual notice and opt-out preferences, restrictions on and requirements for transfer of personal data and the public disclosure of significant data breaches. Additionally, violations of the GDPR can result in fines of as much as 4% of a company’s annual revenue. Other governments have enacted or are enacting similar data protection laws, including data localization laws that require data to stay within their borders. All of these evolving compliance and operational requirements, restrictions on use of personal data, as well as the uncertain interpretation and enforcement of laws, impose significant costs and regulatory risks that are likely to increase over time. Our failure to comply with these evolving regulations could expose us to fines, sanctions, penalties and other costs that could harm our reputation and adversely impact our financial results.

ITEM 1B.UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS.
None.

ITEM 2.PROPERTIES.
Our principal owned and leased properties as of December 31, 2021, are as follows:
Europe, Africa & the Middle EastNorth AmericaGreater AsiaLatin America
OwnedLeasedOwnedLeasedOwnedLeasedOwnedLeased
Plant50 13 22 14 26 11 17 
Office70 13 34 — 
Laboratory16 — 11 — 13 
Warehouse— 12 — 10 
Other— — — — — 
60 111 24 48 34 61 22 29 
Our principal executive offices are located at 521 West 57th Street, New York, New York and 200 Powder Mill Road, Wilmington, Delaware. Our principal sites include facilities which, in the opinion of its management, are suitable and adequate for their use and have sufficient capacity for its current business needs and expected near-term growth.

ITEM 3.LEGAL PROCEEDINGS.
We are subject to various claims and legal actions in the ordinary course of our business. The Company’s material legal proceedings are described in Part II, Item 8 of this Form 10-K in the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements in Note 19, “Commitments and Contingencies” under the heading “Litigation.”

ITEM 4.MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURES.
Not applicable.


PART II
ITEM 5. MARKET FOR REGISTRANT’S COMMON EQUITY, RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS AND ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES.
Market Information.
Our common stock is principally traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol "IFF".
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Approximate Number of Equity Security Holders.
Title of ClassNumber of shareholders of record as of February 21, 2022
Common stock, par value 12 1/2¢ per share
3,527
Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities.
None.
Performance Graph.
The following graph compares a shareholder’s cumulative total return for the last five fiscal years as if such amounts had been invested in: (i) our common stock; (ii) the stocks included in the S&P 500 Index; and (iii) a customized Peer Group. The graph is based on historical stock prices and measures total shareholder return, which takes into account both changes in stock price and dividends. The total return assumes that dividends were reinvested daily and is based on a $100 investment on December 31, 2016.
iff-20211231_g1.jpg
SOURCE: S&P Capital IQ
Due to the international scope and breadth of our business, we believe that a Peer Group comprising international public companies, which are representative of the customer group to which we sell our products, is the most appropriate group against which to compare shareholder returns. See the table below for the list of companies included in our Peer Group.
Peer Group Companies
Campbell Soup CompanyThe Estée Lauder Companies Inc.McCormick & Company, Incorporated
Church & Dwight Co., Inc.General Mills, Inc.Nestle SA
The Clorox CompanyGivaudan SAPepsiCo, Inc.
The Coca-Cola CompanyThe Hershey CompanyThe Procter & Gamble Company
Colgate-Palmolive CompanyHormel Foods CorporationSymrise AG
Conagra Brands, Inc.Kellogg CompanyUnilever N.V.
Danone SAL'Oreal SA
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ITEM 6.[RESERVED]
ITEM 7.MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS.
(UNLESS INDICATED OTHERWISE, DOLLARS IN MILLIONS EXCEPT PER SHARE AMOUNTS)
Overview
Company Background
On February 1, 2021, one of our wholly owned subsidiaries merged with and into the N&B Business (the “Merger”), pursuant to a Merger Agreement with DuPont. The shares issued in the Merger represented approximately 55.4% of the common stock of IFF on a fully diluted basis, after giving effect to the Merger, as of February 1, 2021. The N&B Business is an innovation-driven and customer-focused business that provides solutions for the global food and beverage, dietary supplements, home and personal care, energy, animal nutrition and pharma markets. The transaction was made in order to strengthen IFF's customer base and market presence, with an enhanced position in the food & beverage, home & personal care and health & wellness markets. See Note 3 to the Consolidated Financial Statements for additional information related to the N&B Transaction.
As a result of the N&B Transaction, and following our 2018 acquisition of Frutarom Industries Ltd., we have expanded our global leadership positions, which now include high-value ingredients and solutions in the Food & Beverage, Home & Personal Care and Health & Wellness markets, and across key Taste, Texture, Scent, Nutrition, Enzymes, Cultures, Soy Proteins, Pharmaceutical Excipients, Biocides and Probiotics categories.
We are now organized in four segments: Nourish, Health & Biosciences, Scent, and Pharma Solutions. The Company’s consolidated financial information for the year ended December 31, 2021 reflects the results of N&B effective February 1, 2021, whereas the Company’s consolidated financial information for the year ended December 31, 2020 and 2019 do not include amounts related to N&B.
Our Nourish segment consists of most of our legacy Taste segment combined with N&B’s Food & Beverage division and the food protection business of N&B’s Health & Biosciences division. Our Nourish business spans a diversified portfolio across natural and plant-based specialty food ingredients, flavor compounds, and savory solutions and inclusions.
Our Health & Biosciences segment consists of a biotechnology-driven portfolio of enzymes, food cultures, probiotics and specialty ingredients for food, home and personal care, and health and wellness applications. Our Health & Biosciences business comprises N&B’s Health & Biosciences division (except the food protection business which is part of Nourish) in combination with the Natural Product Solutions business of legacy IFF. Health & Biosciences is comprised of six business units: Health, Cultures & Food Enzymes, Home & Personal Care, Animal Nutrition, Grain Processing and Microbial Control.
Our Scent segment creates fragrance compounds, fragrance ingredients and cosmetic ingredients that are integral elements in the world’s finest perfumes and best-known household and personal care products. Our Scent business consists of our legacy Scent segment as well as our Flavor Ingredients business, formerly part of our legacy Taste business. The Scent segment is comprised of three business units: Fragrance Compounds, Fragrance Ingredients and Cosmetic Actives.
Our Pharma Solutions segment produces a vast portfolio of cellulosics and seaweed-based pharma excipients, used to improve the functionality and delivery of active pharmaceutical ingredients, including controlled or modified drug release formulations, and enabling the development of more effective pharmaceutical formulations. Pharma Solutions is comprised of N&B’s Pharma Solutions business.
Financial Measures — Currency Neutral
Our financial results include the impact of foreign currency exchange rates. We provide currency neutral calculations in this report to remove the impact of these items. Beginning in the first quarter 2021, we elected to change the method in which we calculate currency neutral numbers to now be calculated by translating current year invoiced sale amounts at the exchange rates used for the corresponding prior year period. Previously we calculated currency neutral numbers by comparing current year results to the prior year results restated at exchange rates in effect for the current year based on the currency of the underlying transaction. We use currency neutral results in our analysis of subsidiary or segment performance. We also use currency neutral numbers when analyzing our performance against our competitors and believe the change in method better allows us to do so.
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Due to the Merger with N&B, for the fiscal year 2021 we will not be presenting currency neutral impacts for the Nourish, Health & Biosciences and Pharma Solutions operating segments as the performance in these operating segments includes effects of N&B in 2021, while the 2020 period does not and thus the periods results are not comparable. We present the currency neutral impacts for the Scent operating segment as this operating segment does not have any effects of N&B.
Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic
On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization designated COVID-19 as a global pandemic. Various policies and initiatives have been implemented around the world to reduce the global transmission of COVID-19. Although there continue to be minor operational disruptions, all of IFF’s manufacturing facilities remain open and continue to manufacture products.
The COVID-19 pandemic remains a serious threat to the health of the world’s population and certain countries and regions continue to suffer from outbreaks or have seen a recurrence of infections, especially with the emergence of new variants of the virus. Accordingly, the Company continues to take the threat from COVID-19 seriously. The impact that COVID-19 will have on our consolidated results of operations for the remainder of 2022 remains uncertain. Due to the length and severity of COVID-19, there is continued volatility as a result of retail and travel, consumer shopping and consumption behavior. Moreover, as a result of disruptions or uncertainty relating to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are experiencing, and may continue to experience, increased costs, delays or limited availability related to raw materials, strain on shipping and transportation resources, and higher energy prices, which have negatively impacted, and may continue to negatively impact, our margins and operating results. We will continue to evaluate the nature and extent of these potential impacts to our business, consolidated results of operations, segment results, liquidity and capital resources.
Although IFF has not experienced and does not currently anticipate any impairment charges related to COVID-19, the continuing effects of a prolonged pandemic could result in increased risk of asset write-downs and impairments. Any of these events could potentially result in a material adverse impact on IFF’s business and results of operations.
For more detailed information about risks related to COVID-19, refer to Item 1A, “Risk Factors” - The COVID-19 pandemic may materially and adversely impact our operations, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
2021 Financial Performance Overview
For a reconciliation between reported and adjusted figures, please refer to the "Non-GAAP Financial Measures" section.
Sales
Sales in 2021 increased $6.572 billion, or 129% on a reported basis, to $11.656 billion compared to $5.084 billion in the 2020 period. Performance was primarily driven by $6.084 billion of incremental sales that were attributable to the inclusion of N&B, which was merged and consolidated into our results of operations effective February 1, 2021. In addition, sales performance was driven by volume increases across the Nourish, Health & Biosciences and Scent operating segments and price increases in the Nourish segment.
Our 25 largest customers accounted for approximately 29% of total sales in 2021. In 2021, no customer accounted for more than 10% of sales. A key factor for commercial success is our inclusion on strategic customers’ core supplier lists, which provides opportunities to expand and win new business. We are on the core supplier lists of a large majority of our global and strategic customers.
Gross Profit
Gross profit in 2021 increased $1.649 billion, or 79% on a reported basis, to $3.735 billion (32.0% of sales) compared to $2.086 billion (41.0% of sales) in the 2020 period. The increase in gross profit was primarily driven by the inclusion of N&B, along with sales volume increases in the business. The decrease in gross profit margin, as a percentage of sales, was due to higher input costs and difference in product portfolio mix of the new N&B Business compared to the historical IFF product portfolio mix.
Adjusted Operating EBITDA
Adjusted operating EBITDA in 2021 increased $1.370 billion, or 130% on a reported basis, to $2.425 billion (20.8% of sales) compared to $1.055 billion (20.8% of sales) in the 2020 period. The increase in adjusted operating EBITDA was primarily driven by the inclusion of N&B, along with sales volume increases in the business.
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Results of Operations
 Year Ended December 31,Change
(DOLLARS IN MILLIONS EXCEPT PER SHARE AMOUNTS)2021202020192021 vs. 20202020 vs. 2019
Net sales$11,656 $5,084 $5,140 129 %(1)%
Cost of goods sold7,921 2,998 3,027 164 %(1)%
Gross profit3,735 2,086 2,113 79 %(1)%
Research and development (R&D) expenses629 357 346 76 %%
Selling and administrative (S&A) expenses1,749 949 876 84 %%
Restructuring and other charges41 17 30 141 %(43)%
Amortization of acquisition-related intangibles732 193 193 279 %— %
(Gains) losses on sale of fixed assets(1)(125)%33 %
Operating profit585 566 665 %(15)%
Interest expense289 132 138 119 %(4)%
Other income, net(58)(7)(30)NMF(77)%
Income before taxes354 441 557 (20)%(21)%
Provision for income taxes75 74 97 %(24)%
Net income279 367 460 (24)%(20)%
Net income attributable to noncontrolling interest125 %— %
Net income attributable to IFF stockholders$270 $363 $456 (26)%(20)%
Net income per share — diluted$1.10 $3.21 $4.00 (66)%(20)%
Gross margin32.0 %41.0 %41.1 %NMF(10)bps
R&D as a percentage of sales5.4 %7.0 %6.7 %(160)bps30 bps
S&A as a percentage of sales15.0 %18.7 %17.0 %NMF170 bps
Operating margin5.0 %11.1 %12.9 %NMF(180)bps
Effective tax rate21.2 %16.8 %17.4 %NMF(60)bps
Segment net sales
Nourish$6,264 $2,886 $2,978 117 %(3)%
Health & Biosciences2,329 134 129 NMF%
Scent2,254 2,064 2,033 %%
Pharma Solutions809 —