Bell Flavors & Fragrances began as the William M. Bell Company founded in Chicago, Illinois. Mr. Bell’s flavors were extremely innovative during these early years in the flavor industry. His previous education as a flavor chemist in confections gave him a great understanding of flavors, but it was his creative nature that captured his customers’ tastes. In the early years, William M. Bell sold his creative flavors to local ice cream parlors, grocery stores, and soda pop shops.
The William M. Bell Company’s flavors became so demanding he had to expand. His first manufacturing facility was on West Grand Avenue in Chicago, Illinois. The location proved to be ideal, as Chicago quickly became the “Candy Capital of the World.” Today there is no “Candy Capital of the World,” but Chicago still ranks high in productivity in the confectionery market, as well as other food and beverage markets.
Bell is sold Theonett & Company
In the early 1950s, William M. Bell and his wife passed away. With no children to inherit the business, the Wm. M. Bell Company was sold to Theonett & Company, a flavor company located at 3215 West Grand Avenue in Chicago, Illinois. Theonett & Co. was owned by Arthur Netter and Frank Robinson, whose flavor business was mainly devoted to the beverage industry. Theonett & Co. moved the William. M. Bell Company to be part of their operations on Grand Avenue, but kept the businesses separate.
FEMA GRAS Program
Edward N. Heinz, Jr. is president of FEMA (Flavor Extract Manufacturing Association). In 1959, FEMA took its first steps to establish the FEMA GRAS Program. In 1960 the FEMA GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) program launches and would serve as the primary body for the safety evaluation of food flavorings for the flavor industry, and the public through its GRAS assessment of flavoring substances.
Edward N. Heinz purchased the William M. Bell Company
Edward N. Heinz decided to leave his job at Food Materials and purchase his own company, The Wm. M. Bell Company from Theonett & Co.
The Wm. M. Bell Company stayed in the Grand Avenue plant and leased office and manufacturing space from Theonett & Co. At the time of the purchase, Wm. M. Bell Co. had two employees, Mr. Harold Mathews and Ms. Anne Erlandson.
As the business grew, Bell needed additional manufacturing space. So, in 1974, Bell moved its operation to Melrose Park, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. Bell rented a 30,000 square foot office and plant located at 3312 Bloomingdale Avenue.
You are what you eat article in the Trib
Bell is featured in the Trib for the chemistry side of the flavor business and we bring real tastes to food in a safer way – to adhere to FDA regulations.
Bell acquires Maumee Flavors & Fragrances
Edward Heinz and his three sons, Edward, Raymond and James, knew that it was not only necessary to grow organically, but also to take on acquisitions to achieve a national and even international reach. In 1976, Bell made its first acquisition, Maumee Flavors & Fragrances, located in Danbury, Connecticut.
Maumee developed a line of standard flavors and fragrances and also manufactured primary ingredients in the Anthranilate group (Methyl Anthranilate; Dimethyl Anthranilate; Ethyl Anthranilate) – key ingredients in creating berry and grape flavors. Bell moved the manufacturing of Maumee to its Melrose Park, Illinois plant, but kept some sales offices and labs on the East Coast.
The Wm. Bell Company changed its name to Bell Flavors & Fragrances
The Wm. Bell Company changed its name to Bell Flavors & Fragrances after Bell acquired a fragrance company in Chicago, Illinois, called Roubechez, Inc. This company specialized in developing and selling fragrances to the candle, soap, detergent and household care industries. Bell moved Roubechez, Inc. into their Melrose Park plant with the additional rental of 30,000 square feet of space in a separate building adjacent to its existing building.
Edward Heinz receives the Distinguished Associate Award as the President of the NCA (National Confectioners’ Association) at the 1979 NCA/AACT Convention.
Bell purchases the flavor division of the Stepan Chemical Company
Bell purchases the flavor division of the Stepan Chemical Company and moved its headquarters into a new manufacturing plant located at 500 Academy Drive, Northbrook, Illinois. This location is Bell’s Corporate Headquarters today.
Bell’s acquisition of Stepan also included Fries & Bro. Founded in 1845, Fries & Bro. was the premier tobacco flavor company within the flavor industry.
Bell acquires Nestlé’s flavor and fragrance division known as Synfleur.
Bell acquired Nestlé’s flavor and fragrance division known as Synfleur. This acquisition acquired two additional manufacturing plants for Bell in White Lake, New York and Montecello, New York, as well as an R&D Center in Paramus, New Jersey.
The Synfleur acquisition greatly strengthened Bell’s fragrance business, as they had supplied Johnson & Johnson their baby powder fragrance for over 100 years. Synfleur also supplied Nestle with many of its flavors for beverages, confections, savory and dairy products.
Consolidations and Growth
Bell consolidated the Synfleur R&D facility in Paramus, New Jersey into its existing R&D facility in Northbrook, Illinois.
Bell opened an office on the 35th floor of the Empire State Building in New York City. This office operated from 1984 – 1990.
New Acquisition in Milwaukee
In 1985, Bell acquired American Brosynthetics Corporation located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. American Brosynthetics was the only domestic producer of Helotropin, a primary ingredient used by the flavor and fragrance industry. This was Bell’s first main entry into the ingredient side of the flavor and fragrance industry.
Also, in 1985, Bell acquired a California flavor, fragrance and ingredient manufacturer called Ritter Company. Ritter was known for its manufacturing of butter derivatives, primarily butter acids and butter esters. This type of manufacturing uses a very unique and sophisticated reaction process to isolate the butter acids and butter esters directly from butter. These butter acids and butter esters are sold to all flavor manufacturers throughout the world to be used as ingredients in butter and cheese flavors.
Ritter also was the largest domestic manufacturer of Yucca and Quillaia. These products are extracted from Yucca trees and bark of Quillaia trees respectively. The Yucca and Quillaia extracts are sold to most beverage manufacturers throughout the World. The Yucca and Quillaia extracts are natural foaming products used in root beers and other beverages.
Passing of Edward N Heinz
Mr. Edward N. Heinz passed away, but his sons continue the business today. The sons continue on their father’s passion for the business and with that came even greater expansion and growth.
Bell privatized the operations of Schimmel & Company in Leipzig, Germany
Bell privatized the operations of Schimmel & Company in Leipzig, Germany. This company, originally founded in 1829, is considered to be the founding flavor and fragrance company in the world. This facility is one of the largest, most modern production plants in Europe. Bell’s tradition of innovation and research continues to create award winning products throughout the world.
This facility is also home to the Schimmel Library, the oldest chemical library in the world. The Schimmel Library has collections of some of the earliest and most pioneering work to ever be developed and studied in this industry.
Bell Expands into Germany
Acquisition by Bell Flavors & Fragrances Germany of Logistics Centre & Quality Control Labs in Leipzig, Germany.
The Birthplace of Flavor & Fragrance
The origins of the company now known as Bell Flavors & Fragrances Europe were in Leipzig Germany in the early 19th century. Founded in 1829 as Schimmel & Co., the firm soon became the leading flavor and fragrance company in the world, a position which it occupied for over 100 years.
The scientific accomplishments developed at Schimmel formed the basis for the technology still used in the industry today. Works such as The Encyclopedia of Essential Oils, published by Doctors Gildemeister and Hoffmann
Bell purchases manufacturing plant from PFW-Hercules
This modern, 100,000 square foot plant, located in Middletown, New York, serves as Bell’s manufacturing for fragrances and botanicals, servicing our North American customers.
Bell continues its international expansion
Bell expands by acquiring a flavor company located in Brossard, Canada, a suburb of Montreal. The company was called Naturome, owned by John Haffaden and a few other employees.
Naturome specializes in R&D research in flavors for beverages and dairy products (yogurts). This division is now called Bell Flavors & Fragrances, Canada.
Bell also starts a flavor and fragrance business in Hong Kong to supply flavors and fragrances to China as well as the Asia Pacific countries.
Bell Flavors & Fragrance earns a certified supplier award from Johnson & Johnson for quality service and value.
Bell Russia Established
Bell opens a new office in Russia.
Bell Poland Established
A new office for sales was opened in Poland.
Bell Grows in Europe
The Bell family expands into UK and France with new offices.
Bell Expands into Ukraine
Bell opens a new office in Ukraine.
1997 - 2011 Bell sees 20% annual growth
Over 14 year period Bell sees rapid growth expanding into over 10 new markets.
• 2002 Fragrance production expanded
• 2003 Flavor production expanded
• 2004 R&D expanded and renovated
• 2005 Bell Romania established
• 2006 Bell Kazakhstan established
• 2009 Bell Middle East established
• 2010 Bell India established
• 2011 Aroma Chemicals production expanded
Bell acquires H & R
Bell acquires the medium and small flavor and fragrance business of a large competitor, Haarmann & Reimer in the United States and Canada.
This acquisition of medium and small customers and the associated formulas supplied to these customers broadened Bell’s customer base in the United States and Canada.
Bell opens a sales office in Poland.
Bell decided to move its operation from Hong Kong to mainland China in 1999, when China took over governance of Hong Kong. Today, Bell has two plants located in Shanghai, China, a flavor plant and a fragrance plant, with R&D and administration located in Bell’s Shanghai operation.
Bell acquires Empresa Industrial Izadora de Guadalajara S.A. de C.V. (EIGSA)
In 2001 Continuing its global approach to be a regional flavor and fragrance manufacturer Bell acquired a 50 year old flavor and fragrance company in Guadalajara, Mexico called Empersa Industrial Izadora de Guadalajara S.A. de C.V. (EIGSA). Originally EIGSA manufactured flavors for the Alcoholic and Non-Alcoholic Beverage Industry, plus flavors for Bakery, Confectionery, Dairy and fragrances for the Personal Care Industry and today flavors for the Savory Industry as well.
Now called Bell Flavors & Fragrances, Mexico it continues to produce two EIGSA signature products: Eigsamix an extender for milk and Chococob a chocolate topping for ice cream cones.
Opened new sales office in Ukraine
Bell acquires Penrith Akers
The Penrith Akers company produces flavors and was located in Minnesota.
It was formerly owned by Hans Proft and a few other shareholders. This flavor company specialized in beverage flavors and was a regional supplier to beverage companies for four surrounding states.
This company was consolidated into Bell’s Northbrook, Illinois location.
Opened a manufacturing facility in Shanghai, China
This facility has two separate plants, a flavor plant and a fragrance plant, along with R&D and administration offices. Bell was one of the first flavor and fragrance companies to be able to incorporate and not have a 50% joint venture with a Chinese company. Bell China is 100% a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bell U.S. Bell determined that the Shanghai operation and plants would handle business for the Chinese market. This operation is now called Bell Flavors & Fragrances, China.
Bell registered and trademarked Belltanicals®.
Bell registered and trademarked Belltanicals®. This trademark was developed to promote and support Bell’s long time research and development of botanical extracts for various applications.
The development of these Botanicals focuses on these areas:
- Botanical Extracts
- Botanical Infusions
- All-Natural Essential Oil Blends
Candy Hall of Fame
Raymond J Heinz is inducted into the Candy Hall of Fame.
Bell incorporates Bell Flavors & Fragrances do Brasil Ind. Com.E Repress, Ltda
Bell incorporates Bell Flavors & Fragrances do Brasil Ind. Com.E Repress, Ltda in Sao Paulo, Brasil and begins manufacturing flavors for some of Bell’s global customers who required flavors to be manufactured locally to alleviate the high duty rate of bringing flavors into Brazil.
Bell Continues to GROW
Due to exponential growth in domestic and international business, Bell’s Northbrook, Illinois, headquarters acquired an 85,000 sq. ft. warehouse building that is contiguous to the existing corporate headquarters. This warehouse building location is logistically ideal for long-term expansion and planning.
Bell attained the Certification of SQF (Safe Quality Food) 2000 Level 3 for its manufacturing facility in Northbrook, Illinois. The SQF certification program is a leading global food safety and quality certification program and management system designed to meet the needs of buyers and suppliers worldwide. This prestigious Level 3 certification requires a rigorous third party audit process in addition to an extensive review of policies, procedures, and systems. SQF Level 3 Certification provides customers with the guarantee that their products are manufactured by a consistently safe and high quality source.
Bell Northbrook has maintained SQF 2000 Level 3 certification since then and Bell Canada attained the same certification in 2012.
Bell celebrates its 100 years
Bell celebrated its 100 year history with a centennial celebration honoring the company.
Bell acquires Iceberg Industries flavor division
Bell Flavors & Fragrances secured its newest international subsidiary with the acquisition of Iceberg Industries flavor division in Sao Paulo Brazil. Iceberg-Aromas has resided in the Brazilian market since 1939 with customers in all segments, particularly in sweets, confectionery, chewing gum, ice cream, drinks, biscuits and savory products.
The new facility contains state of the art innovation labs that will serve as a hub of new product creation and customer collaboration for the South American market. Bell’s new facility manufactures flavors, fragrances and botanical extracts to the South American market.
Welcome Bell Singapore!
Bell Flavors & Fragrances adds it’s newest international office – Bell Singapore
Bell Mexico scores BIG!
In Bell Mexico we obtained a 100 SQF score, the highest rating a company can obtain.
Bell GmbH celebrates 25 years in Germany!
Bell Flavors & Fragrances Celebrates Two Inductees Into The 2018 Candy Hall of Fame
Bell Flavors & Fragrances is proud to announce two of the newest inductees into the 2018 Candy Hall of Fame, hosted by the National Confectionery Sales Association, are from their organization. James Heinz, Bell’s Chief Executive Officer and Laura Christian, National Accounts Manager in the flavor division, were recognized for their achievements as industry leaders on October 19th-21st at the Renaissance Tampa International Plaza Hotel, among hundreds of NCSA members. They were nominated and selected from a mix of industry allies who have recognized the work and dedication they put into the confectionery industry and were named as two of eight inductees from the same company.
UK Culinary and new office location
Opening of a sales office and culinary kitchen in the UK
Welcome to the family Bell Vietnam!
Bell develops creative flavors and fragrances for the food, beverage, cosmetic, household care, personal care, oral care, and tobacco companies throughout the world. Bell’s position in the industry has come a long way since 1912, but the same values William M. Bell and Edward N. Heinz held are still carried on by the Heinz and Bell Family today.