Flavorman and Distilled Spirits Epicenter founder David Dafoe is one of the country’s foremost authorities on flavor. Recognizing the need for technical innovation in the beverage industry, Dave created a company that specializes in the technical side of beverage development. His insistence on setting the highest standards for research, quality, and client support has made Flavorman a trend-setting force. Flavorman’s unique, collaborative approach to client relationships sets it apart in a competitive industry.Our Story
“Making a beverage is hard. We know; we do it every day.”
Ask Dave Dafoe about the strangest drink he’s ever made, and the answer will fall somewhere between sushi moonshine and green bean casserole soda. “We can get dead-on with these things, and we like the challenge. But they tasted horrible.” It is true. Most people do not like to drink their favorite meal. These novelty flavor requests come mostly from hosts of national television shows like Travel Channel’s “Bizarre Foods” and Discovery Channel’s “Moonshiners”, and Flavorman is always up to the challenge.
A graduate of Miami University in Ohio, Dave launched his career in Louisville, Kentucky at Brown-Forman Corporation, developing some of the global spirits giant’s biggest brands. In the early 1990s he struck out on his own, starting a modest beverage development consulting company with the unique mission of helping clients from start through finish®. Dave’s first customer? Chiquita Brands.
As word spread about Flavorman’s innovative approach and collaborative methods, companies like Ocean Spray, Sunsweet Growers, and Kellogg started calling. Dave worked hard to assemble a specialized team of experts in beverage product development to keep up with orders and expand Flavorman’s services.
“We don’t see it as working for our clients; we work with them to develop their product and get it through production.”
Though developing drinks behind major brands for global companies is a gateway to notoriety, client confidentiality is integral to Flavorman’s excellent reputation in the industry. Flavorman makes custom beverages for clients. Many of those clients prefer not to disclose who does their beverage development work, and that is a decision Dave wholly respects and supports. “So even though I can’t tell you most of the drinks we’ve developed, I can guarantee you’ve enjoyed something we’ve made.”
Beverage entrepreneurs have always been the cornerstone of Flavorman’s success. No one understands the passion, vision, and risk involved in starting a company better than Dave, and he takes great pride in structuring Flavorman’s services to walk clients through the technical ins and outs of developing and manufacturing the product that will be the foundation of their business.
“We have established our business model so that our success is entirely tied up in our clients’ success.”
With a passion for making great beverages, the Flavorman team brings the best of both science and art to every project. Their total teamwork and collaborative approach has been key in differentiating Flavorman as a pioneer in beverage innovation, speed-to-market, and exemplary service.
Some of the world’s leading food and beverage companies, along with hundreds of entrepreneurs, have turned to Flavorman for beverage development. What began as a one-man consulting firm in the early 1990s has grown into an international full-service beverage development company providing both large and small clients with all the expertise they need to bring a beverage to market – from concept development to manufacturing planning and quality control.
Beverage development is the technical term for the process of creating a commercial drink. A commercial beverage is developed with the intention of selling to consumers.
The “recipe” for a commercial beverage is called the formulation. A custom beverage formulation is comprised of components like flavor, color, sweetener, acids, vitamins, minerals, and functional additives like caffeine, herbal extracts, and preservatives. Unlike a kitchen-recipe drink, a commercial beverage needs to meet FDA guidelines, and needs to be consistently duplicated.
It all starts with a phone call or email. Our Technical Director will listen to your idea, answer your questions, and discuss the best way to go about creating your beverage. When you are ready to start, we will send a proposal outlining the parameters of your project.
No. Every beverage we create is a custom formulation based on the collaboration between Flavorman and our clients. Our beverages are developed on a project-by-project basis. Therefore, we do not sell private-label products.
A “flavor house” is a company that manufactures ready-made flavors and fragrances for many industries such as food, beverage, and cosmetics.
In contrast, Flavorman is a custom beverage development company. We work one-on-one with each client to develop the beverage to that particular client’s specifications.
We have developed the drinks behind hundreds of brands and thousands of products. Our clients range from start-up entrepreneurs to some of the biggest names in the global market. While some brands you may not recognize, others are household names. However, most of our clients prefer that the work we do for them remains confidential. We greatly respect this confidentiality, and that allows us to serve each of our clients with the energy and dedication necessary.
No. Flavorman is strictly a technical company, and beverage development is our primary focus. We develop products for our clients, and our clients retain sole ownership of their formulations. Flavorman does not own or market any brand, which allows us to service our clients with the diligence and confidentiality they require, without conflicting interests.
We charge a project fee to develop a beverage. This fee covers a small portion of the resources used and depends on the complexity of the project, the timetable required, and the desired ingredients for inclusion. We can give you an idea of the cost to develop your beverage once we know more about your project.
As a practice, we do execute confidentiality agreements. Mutual non-disclosure agreements are common documents that allow individuals and businesses to fully discuss their confidential projects without fear that the other party will wrongfully use or disclose their confidential or proprietary information. At Flavorman, we never want our prospective clients to feel uncomfortable. Our approach to new and all business is to be candid and open and to create a good and comfortable relationship.
Flavorman does not own or sell any brands. We develop products for our clients, and our clients retain sole ownership of their formulations.