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What happens when know-how meets no limits?

Every great idea starts with a spark. For over a hundred years, you’ve known us as David Michael and Ottens Flavors. You’ve been there as we’ve led the industry with service and innovation. Now these trusted names have come together to create a united company that’s nimble, adaptable and resourceful. It’s a fusion of skill and soul. A connection that brings people together and results in something new and better. Tastepoint is a new perspective from the same people that made David Michael and Ottens Flavors exceptional. We’re a company powered by passion, enhanced with the technology and insights of International Flavors & Fragrances, Inc.

IFF is a leading innovator of sensorial experiences that move the world. At the heart of the company, IFF is fueled by a sense of discovery, constantly asking “what if?” In 2015, that question led to the acquisition of Ottens Flavors, a Philadelphia-based company, revered for its rich history, world-class capabilities, diverse flavor technologies and above all, outstanding customer service. The following year, IFF acquired David Michael & Company, well-known in the industry for its vanilla expertise, strength in the Dairy and Beverage categories, and relationships with dynamic, fast-growing middle-market customers.

A sequence of "What ifs?" made the vision of merging two strong, like-minded companies a reality. David Michael and IFF-Ottens Flavors have come together, and with the perfect blend of heart and science, we are here to move you forward.

Legacy Ottens Flavors

A local businessman with strong real estate ties to the New Jersey shore area, Henry H. Ottens founded Ottens Flavors in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1884. He saw an opportunity to provide flavors and colors to the local area food establishments. Henry was joined by H. Birchenstock, a German immigrant with technical training, and together they started manufacturing extracts and colors. The brand quickly earned itself a reputation among Philadelphia’s bakeries and eventually expanded throughout the East Coast before making headway nationally.

The company’s dedication to its mission ensured enduring success by anticipating the needs of customers with innovative and valuable flavors and services, and continuously raising its standards of excellence.

Quality products and offerings paired with steadfast attention to customer satisfaction advanced Ottens Flavors into a robust and resolute middle-market flavor company for over a century to follow. In the mid-1970s, Ottens grew internationally with sales to Japan and Sweden. Over the next 30 years, expansion continued to include facilities in the Philippines and Mexico.

Deeply rooted in a rich lineage of ownership, part of Ottens success over the years can be attributed to the family feel that permeated the company. In 1952, Ottens was purchased by George C. Robinson, a local banker, and operated out of 127 Front Street – a former stopover for the Underground Railroad in Philadelphia. As sales strengthened and spread nationally, George C. Robinson Jr. joined the management ranks in the mid-1960s, followed by his sons, Richard and George C. Robinson III in the 1980s.

In 2015, as IFF acquired Ottens, the seeds for Tastepoint were planted.

Legacy David Michael & Co.

Founded in 1896, and headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, David Michael & Co. was built on the corporate mission of satisfying the requirement of its clients through a commitment to quality, service, innovation and technology. The company stemmed from a partnership between Herman Hertz, a bar operator in Atlantic City, New Jersey, and David Michael, a salesman for Fleer Chewing Gum in Philadelphia. Herman Hertz’ expertise in distilled spirits led him to the creation of the brand’s first flavor, “Old Time Special Body & Age®,” a few drops of which makes raw corn whiskey taste like a ten-year-old bourbon in just hours. Popular in the company’s early years, B&A slowed in the 1920s and then experienced a revival with the repeal of Prohibition in 1933. It was then adopted by several nationally branded products, in which it is still used today.

In upcoming years, David Michael & Co. would continue to climb the ranks through innovations in areas that gave the brand multiple strongholds in the flavor industry. These included:

  • 1920s: Michael’s Mixevan®, a widely accepted powdered flavor for vanilla ice cream
  • 1950s: Old Time Special Body & Age line extension designed for American whiskey blends, and later gin, vodka, rum and brandy.
  • 1965: A worldwide vanilla bean shortage led to the development of Vanguard®, a natural, non-characterizing flavor that functions as a base smoother while allowing for displacement in the amount of vanilla used without any reduced flavor impact. Vanguard was followed closely by Supreme® and Super Supreme®, vanillas that because of their more efficient extraction process, yield a stronger flavor.
  • 1968: Introduced a proprietary line of stabilizers under the name of Michtex®.
  • 1970: Created the Michaelok® line of spray-dried flavors.
  • 1993: Expanded into the production of Maillard Reaction Flavors and introduced the DM Choice® line of savory flavors.
  • 1994: Developed the Michael-Thermics® line of heat-stable flavors.
  • 2003: Debuted MichaelCap™ microencapsulation technology.

What started as a small Philadelphia-based company eventually expanded to include global facilities in California, France, Mexico and China.

Remaining family-owned until 2016, the David Michael & Co. lineage of ownership grew to include the Rosenbaum and Rosskam families. Brothers Eli & Robert Rosenbaum, and their friend Walter Rosskam, were asked by David Michael to join the management team after Herman Hertz’ passing in 1920. The second generation included Robert’s son Edward Rosenbaum and Walter’s son William Rosskam. They were later followed by the third generation; Edward’s son Stuart Rosenbaum, William’s sons Skip and Steve Rosskam, and their cousin George Rosskam.

With IFF’s acquisition of David Michael & Co. in 2016, the vision of merging two strong middle-market companies was one step closer to becoming a reality, paving the way for Tastepoint to revolutionize the flavor scene beginning in 2017.