2020 Best Flavor Developer: Mother Murphy’s Al Murphy

When family-owned Mother Murphy’s launched in 1946, it was focused on creating beverage concentrates and bakery flavors. “A crazy thing about the flavor industry is you can pivot at any time into a new vertical,” says Al Murphy, vice president of the Greensboro, N.C.-based company. “About 20 years ago, we began serving the alcohol beverage industry,” he adds. “In the 1990s, flavored vodkas were really popular. Today, it’s all about flavored whiskey and canned cocktails.”

The company employs about 150 people, including some of the best flavor chemists in the world. “We’ve spent a lot of time working with startup spirit brands over the last 10 to 15 years,” says Murphy. “We’ve been very successful in helping companies learn how to use flavors in alcohol-based products. We also manufacture a variety of flavors that are used in wine and beer.”

Mother Murphy’s also boasts one of the largest TTB registries for FIDS (flavor information data sheet) available, now with more than 2,000 TTB-approved flavors. “The hottest right now is peanut butter,” says Murphy. “Sixteen distilleries use it [as of press time].”

Bottom line: Mother Murphy’s has a portfolio of products that can stand up to any other flavor developer. What makes it different? “It’s the experience of knowing how our collective of great people can help you succeed,” he says.