CLEARWATER, Fla. - Clearwater is the headquarters of Monin, a flavor innovation company. And chances are, your taste buds are familiar with them.
"They might not know it of it, but if they are wondering what that flavor is in that drink or in that food item, it’s Monin," said Angela Thompson, Monin’s beverage innovation director.
Seventy-five of the top 100 chain restaurants in America use Monin flavors. Customers come to Monin to find flavors to go with certain themes, or to find the next big seasonal favorite.
"We get some pretty interesting challenges from customers," said Ronnie McAlister, the vice president of research and development at Monin.
Monin's research team fine-tunes and taste-tests recipes right in their own lab. Ninety-eight percent of their products are deemed clean-label by the FDA, meaning they use no artificial ingredients.
"They spend their day in the lab on the bench adding raw ingredients together and tasting until they find something that tastes really good," continued McAlister.
The concoctions that come out of their lab end up in restaurants around the world.
And it's not only beverages.
"You can pretty much put it in anything at this point: breakfast, lunch, dinner, desserts," says Chad Lance, Monin's executive chef.
His job is to create innovative food items using the roughly 200 Monin-designed flavors at his disposal.
You don't have to go to a restaurant to get a taste of Monin flavorings. All their products are available on their website: www.monin.com/us