We began in 1882 as Meadow Springs Distillery, a maker of whiskey and gin. In 1919, Prohibition threatened the company's existence. Fortunately, Meadow Springs already had created a business selling yeast; it was packaging the product under the brand Red Star Yeast. Accordingly, the distillery changed its name to Red Star Yeast & Products Company.
During the 1960s, Red Star Yeast evolved from a single-product line producer to a highly diversified food company and changed its name to Universal Foods to emphasize its planned growth in operations. Universal Foods became a member of the New York Stock Exchange. However, as a producer of commodity products, including yeast, frozen potatoes and bulk cheese, Universal Foods had limited growth opportunities.
Over the next several decades, the company divested its commodity segments while also acquiring dozens of companies, all of which had strategic products and innovative solutions. This was a major transformation that launched the organization to its current structure and strategy.
In 2000, Universal Foods changed its name to Sensient Technologies to reflect its expanded focus. It sold Red Star Yeast in 2001 as part of a strategy to divest itself of unprofitable commodity businesses.
Sensient is a leading global manufacturer and marketer of colors, flavors, and other specialty ingredients. Our global operations allow us to serve customers in more than 150 nations with annual revenues surpassing $1.3 billion.
Sensient continues to serve the food and beverage industries as a leading supplier of advanced technologies that help our customers bring natural and artificial flavors and colors to their products. Our broad segments include:
These global businesses all provide opportunities for long-term, sustainable growth.
We have overcome many hurdles in our long history to become who we are today. Our teams today are more enthusiastic than ever. We are building a bridge to a new era with state-of-the-art production facilities and an ever-expanding team of highly educated industry specialists, coming from some of the largest companies across the globe.