Shaun Weston is managing editor digital, FoodBev Media. This is a personal blog and views expressed are his own.

15 Jun 2011 (Updated 24 Mar 2014)

Wild celebrates 80th birthday in Heidelberg

In a humid Heidelberg this morning, Dr Hans-Peter Wild addressed invited guests, reflecting on the company's history, its current status and its future expansion beyond Europe.

See a selection of photos from the press conference in this Flickr gallery.

Coincidentally, Dr Hans-Peter Wild celebrates his own milestone on 16 June, as he turns 70. I spoke to a number of people at the press conference, all of whom testified to Wild's influence on the company, and of the so-called 'Wild-Geist'.

"My goal has always been, and still is, to safeguard the long-term continuance of my parents' family business, which I have expanded into an internationally successful corporation," he said.

On the eve of the company's 80th anniversary, Dr Wild views the future with confidence: "The company is in an excellent position for further growth. We operate within a healthy industry, the firm has a solid basis and excellent staff, and really does create added value for the customer."

I had a chat with Mike Ponder (global CEO of Wild Flavors) and Erik Donhowe (chief operating officer North America), which you can hear below.