Israel's Frutarom has been pursuing a steep global growth curve over the past year with a string of acquisitions across both its business units - flavorings and natural ingredients. In the US, this drive included buying ingredients firm Abaco and medical plant, vitamin and mineral company Adumim, for $4m each. Now, with the addition of 3,000 square feet to its New Jersey base, it is expanding its capacity to develop new flavors, particularly organic flavors that cater to a growing niche in the marketplace. VP of Frutarom USA's flavor division William Graham claimed that Frutarom has a "leadership position in the development of organic flavors." According to the Organic Trade Association's (OTA) 2007 Manufacturer Survey, organic foods are one of the fastest growing segments in the industry, with sales in 2006 increasing 21 percent to reach $16.7bn. In terms of product categories, Frutarom is focusing in the first instance on beverages, confectionery and bakery, and has dedicated R&D and application labs for these areas. However it has also allocated space for other categories, and these will come into play as Frutarom's capabilities develop. The investment in North Bergen, New Jersey, includes a spray dryer that can operate at pilot scale. Equipment such as this, Graham indicated, is necessary given the high level of collaboration with customers, and the company's strategy of working closely with its customers through their product development. The company has not revealed how much it has invested in the expansion, but Graham said the company has made "millions of dollars of investments" in its facilities over the last 12 months - including this major renovation. The other sites to receive cash include investment in its innovation centre in Switzerland and the establishment of new biotechnology laboratories in Israel. Frutarom is not alone in targeting the US organic market with its flavors. For instance, French firm Aromatech's US subsidiary swung into action in November, making available its portfolio of 'natural', 'artificial', 'natural and artificial' and 'organic' flavors for local tastes. Organic flavor and fragrance firm Treatt also set up US operations back in 1989, initially as Florida Treatt. It became Treatt USA in 2002. It has acquired an extra 5 acres of land next to its facility, where it produces its Treattarome and Citreatt ranges pf products, to give it the scope for future expansion.