Flavorful Joy


By Nona Phinn

McCormick focuses on spicing up our meals today and beyond.

Our vision is to bring the joy of flavor to life, and our mission is to make every meal and every meal moment better for our consumers around the globe,” says Mike Okoroafor, Vice President of Global Sustainability and Packaging Innovation at McCormick & Company, Inc.

It is difficult to argue with the vision and mission driving this iconic brand. McCormick has filled kitchen cupboards and restaurants’ shelves for 129 years and shows no signs of stopping. There must be some savory ingredient that has kept the company thriving and leaving its customers flocking for more. Dare I challenge McCormick’s vision and mission by saying the joy of flavor that it brings to life goes beyond mealtime and flows into other vital instances that impact our lives and existence?

McCormick focuses on spicing up our meals for today and beyond.

When it comes to doing business, this flavor company (yes, flavor, not spice, company) takes a holistic approach that effects not only its bottom line but also the world it conducts business in. “It’s about delivering top-tier performance while doing the right things for our people, our communities, and the planet,” explains Lisa Manzone, Senior Vice President of Human Relations at McCormick. With everything McCormick does, it looks to positively impact its employees and customers, its surrounding communities, and the health of the planet, all while excelling as a thriving organization.

Engrained in McCormick’s DNA is sustainability — the ability to meet “the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” (HEC Global Learning Centre, n.d.). For every sector the business touches, it considers how it can do better and be better for those it serves. Whether it’s serving the farmers around the globe from whom it sources herbs and spices or the consumers and customers for whom it creates new and exciting flavors, McCormick seeks to discover how it can “do well by doing good,” Okoroafor notes.

This sustainable approach is so core to and reflective of McCormick’s culture that the flavor company has been recognized several times for it this year:
Barron’s magazine ranked McCormick No. 48 on its inaugural list of the 100 most sustainable companies in the United States (Norton, 2018). Also, for the second year in a row, McCormick earned the top spot in the food products industry category on Corporate Knights magazine’s Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World index (2018).

What can we gain from a company that understands and takes to heart that how it does business today affects the future for itself and the world in which we all live? There is much the marketplace can learn from McCormick’s methods for evolving and growing.

Sustainability is very, very important because we are building an enduring business,” Okoroafor explains.

To ensure that it is practicing holistic sustainability, McCormick has established five core principles to drive its growth:

  1. Passion for FlavorTM
  2. Power of PeopleTM
  3. Taste You TrustTM
  4. Driven to Innovate
  5. Purpose-Led Performance

These principles help anchor the company’s culture. “They speak to our ideals and underscore and enable our vision and mission. They all work in tandem, and it’s all part of who we are and what we do,” Manzone details.

The 5 McCormick Principles inform employees’ daily work and connect them as one. “These principles are the cornerstone of our culture and our competitiveness, as they form the foundation for our strategy imperatives,” Okoroafor says.

McCormick relies on its 5 Principles to create strategies that enhance and encompass a reach that surpasses its bottom line. For example, under the umbrella of its Purpose-Led Performance principle, the company operates more sustainably by harvesting rainwater at its Gourmet Garden facility in southern Australia, an area that sees a significant amount of rainfall. McCormick collects the rainwater, filters it, and uses it to run all its operations in the region. As a result, McCormick is less dependent on water from the local municipality and conserves energy.

As a people-focused organization, McCormick already realized that to connect with its employees, human resources needed to become human relations. Still McCormick dives deeper to show its people they come first through its commitment to the Power of People. This principle reinforces the company’s pledge to a people-first, high-performance culture that also champions diversity and inclusion. This is apparent through goals such as having women in 50 percent of its leadership positions globally and minorities in 30 percent of leadership roles within the United States by 2025.

To stay on this track, McCormick remains focused on building and rewarding its talent, integrating the exciting new brands it has acquired, expanding its product lines to include more organic and non-GMO offerings, and developing its unique flavors to delight the palates of all.

“McCormick has been in consumers’ lives for 129 years, which is amazing,” Manzone reminds us. “We will continue to build on our past but excel in our present and plan for McCormick’s future growth. We do not want to stop growing and innovating at 129 years, and while we certainly leverage and respect our history, we know that we want to be the McCormick of the future to continue to supply a relevant and trusted brand.”

Corporate Knights. (2018, January 22). 2018 global 100 results. Retrieved from http://www.corporateknights.com/reports/global-100/2018-global-100-results-15166618
HEC Global Learning Centre. (n.d.). What is sustainability? Retrieved from http://www.globalfootprints.org/sustainability
Norton, L. P. (2018, February 3). Barron’s 100 most sustainable companies. Barron’s. Retrieved from https://www.barrons.com/articles/barrons-100-most-sustainable-companies-1517605530

Nona Phinn is the Founder and CEO of THuS Marketing and Branding Services, a firm that helps personal and corporate brands communicate their mission in an intimate and profound way. Through her firm, Phinn gets to do what she loves best: create and implement strategies that get to the heart of marketing.

Images provided by McCormick & Company Inc.