Machinery News

  • Industrial Ice Cream Solution Provider

    Fu Chen Technology - Industrial Ice Cream Solution Provider

    This is a recently completed project by Fu Chen Technology. The content of the project includes full-automatic popsicle and ice cream plant equipment, and the production mode is fully automatic production, and is equipped with a C.I.P positioning cleaning system, so that production and cleaning are automatically completed in the pipeline, in line with standard procedures, and can greatly reduce labor costs, achieve the best benefit.           More

    Industry News

  • Vegan 'Cheese' Market Booms As Demand Grows

    As a teenager, Brad Vanstone used to help out on his grandparents' dairy farm in Devon during the holidays.   But in an unexpected twist, decades later he now has quite a contrasting career running a vegan cheese-substitute business.   He set up the brand - Willicroft - in 2017, after switching to a plant-based diet, and struggling to give up cheese.   "I looked high and low in supermarkets for good replacements, but struggled to find any," says Mr Vanstone, who like his business is based in Amsterdam.   Made from assorted white beans, such as haricot and cannellini, Willicroft now offers five products - "Young Dutch", which imitates gouda; "Italian Aged", which aims to be like parmesan; "Greek White", a feta substitute, plus a fondue, and a sauce made for the dish macaroni cheese.   These are available to buy at numerous stockists across the Netherlands, and at the firm's one store in central Amsterdam.   And overseas expansion is now continuing, with plans to launch in Germany before the end of this year. The firm's products are already on sale in the UK at the seven branches of Amazon's Whole Foods chain, and it is looking to add another UK supermarket to its roster.   However, Mr Vanstone says his plans to launch a wholesale business in the UK, to sell to other retailers, have been fraught with difficulties following Brexit.   "If we were to do it independently, to give you an example of how much harder it is, we used to be able to send samples to the UK for €20 ($21; £17.60), and it would take two to three days max [for them to get to the addressee]," he says.   "Now if we send samples it's €200 minimum, and one in three won't get there."   Brexit issues aside, the sale of vegan substitute cheese is a global market continuing to see stellar levels of growth. Sales are predicted to rise to $7bn by 2030, up from $2.5bn in 2020, according to one report.   In a similar story to Mr Vanstone's, Nivi Jasa co-founded I Am Nut Ok with his partner in 2017. He was inspired after moving to a plant-based diet and finding the then available vegan substitute cheeses "pretty terrible".   "I said I'm not going to eat vegan cheese at all," recalls Mr Jasa, who is a London-based Italian. "But my partner is from LA, which is 10 years ahead [in terms of food trends], and so she made some cashew cheese cream and I loved that.   "At the time we were both broke and said 'why don't we combine our love of food, and our designer backgrounds, and create a vegan cheese brand so we have enough money to pay the bills?'."   The company started life on a stall at Broadway Market in Hackney, east London, and now has eight products sold online, and across more than 200 stockists in the UK including Selfridges.   "We stand for flavour," says Mr Jasa. "Most supermarket [vegan] cheese is either too plain or has a plastic rubbery texture."   However, like many small businesses, he says it's been a challenging year. "We haven't seen any growth. There's been rising energy costs, the cost of ingredients such as sunflower oil from Ukraine is super expensive, and people are spending less."   Business was previously stronger when the company exported to Germany and France. "But then Brexit came and we were hit by problems, such as more paperwork at customs, and paying import tax, and risk of delays," says Mr Jasa.   "It was too risky and expensive if stock needed to be thrown out."   Plus, he says, there's confusion on both sides of the border about how to classify vegan substitute cheese. The brand is starting to work with an international distributor to try to help remove some of the obstacles.   The global leader when it comes to vegan substitute cheese is Greek-based Violife, whose products are exported to more than 60 countries including the US, UK, Germany and the Netherlands.   One of reasons it has proved successful says Victoria Slater, Violife head of Northern Europe, is that the brand, whose products are made from coconut starch, is "very adaptable to different regional demands".   "For example, every country will have their preferred cheese," she says. "Such as halloumi in Cyprus, manchego in Spain, and cheddar in the UK. We are able to flex the flavour and formats to best reflect the specifications of the 60 countries we're in."   Violife now also sells Camembert and blue cheese substitutes.   Yet Ms Slater adds that the sector is feeling the effects of the continuing cost of living crisis. "It's a tough macroeconomic environment in a lot of countries. Cheese is a choice product, not a necessity like toilet roll."   Still, it's a market that is undoubtedly growing, as more people move towards a plant-based diet. UK supermarket Tesco tells the BBC that it has seen sales of vegan substitute cheeses grow by nearly a third over the past year.   "Plant-based diets are becoming increasingly popular, although cheese is often where people have struggled previously to find the right alternative to suit them," says Fay Hasnip, plant-based product development manager at Tesco.   "With demand rising, we have placed an increased focus on offering our customers a wide range of plant-based cheeses that deliver on quality, taste and texture, to offer some variety and choice for plant-based shoppers."   Angharad Goode, a food and drink research analyst at market insight firm Mintel, says the increased public spotlight on sustainability has seen many people reassess their dairy usage.   It comes as research earlier this year for Violife claimed that the manufacturing of its products released half as much carbon as the production of dairy cheese.   Ms Goode adds that vegan cheese substitutes are also growing in popularity simply because they are now more widely available. She points to some of the best-known diary cheese brands, such as Philadelphia and Babybel, releasing vegan versions.   "This is boosting availability and visibility, and helping to dial up price competition," she says.   However, Ms Goode adds that the typically high price of vegan cheese substitutes. poses the biggest barrier to further sales growth, especially with more of us now minding our pennies.   Take two prices at UK supermarket Sainsburys. You can buy 400g of its own-brand medium cheese for £2.85. Yet 200g - half the weight - of Violife's "Epic Mature Cheddar Flavour Block Vegan Alternative to Cheese" costs £2.75.   Ms Goode also thinks that some producers of vegan cheese substitutes need to ensure that they "deliver on the eating experience" - make them taste better.   Back in Amsterdam, Mr Vanstone agrees. "What's available at mass retail is still really poor, both in terms of the taste, the actual impact of the product and also the nutrition.   "It's not really servicing anything other than just being a replacement. That being said, there is a growing number of good products out there and the potential is obviously enormous." More

    Exhibition News


      The artisan gelato, pastry, chocolate, bakery and coffee chains at Rimini expo centre for the 44th edition of Italy’s worldwide Dolce ambassador from 21st to 25th January    Products, competitions and professional training news: SIGEP is the first 2023 appointment of Italian Exhibition Group’s Food&Beverage Network    Simultaneously, the 7th edition of A.B. Tech Expo, exhibition of machinery and technology for bakery: from storage to dough and preparation    Rimini, 16th September 2022 – The Italian masters of artisan gelato. The elegance and creativity of international patisserie. Chocolate, from the raw material to the preparation of excellent products. Leavened products and all the versions of bread. The aroma of coffee, from espresso to the more meditative specialty coffees. There is only one appointment in Europe that offers the professional Out-of-Home community the most complete dolce showcase, as it is created and experienced according to Italian style: it is SIGEP – The Dolce World Expo. The Italian Exhibition Group expo, now at its 44th edition, will be held at Rimini expo centre from 21st to 25th January. Simultaneously, also in Rimini, there will be the 7th edition of A.B. Tech Expo, dedicated to bakery technology and machinery, from storage to dough and preparation.    ALL THE CHAINS, OCCUPYING THE WHOLE EXPO CENTRE  SIGEP, the first 2023 appointment for IEG’s Food & Beverage Network - which includes Beer&Food Attraction and BBTech Expo (19-22 February in Rimini) and Cosmofood (in November in Vicenza) - will host all the historic chains with a layout occupying the entire expo centre, where the collaboration with the sector’s artisan and industrial Associations, national and international associations of Master Gelato makers and pastry chefs and of bakers, baristas and coffee specialists will take form. Business, training, media aspects and projection on foreign markets, thanks to the support of the ITA-Italian Trade Agency, make SIGEP a true community catalyst that starts out from ingredients and products, the latest new machinery and systems, and focuses increasingly greater attention on issues of sustainability and energy saving, furnishings and equipment, display cases and counters and everything necessary for having contemporary packaging under the banner of the circularity of materials and flexibility for competitive marketing increasingly integrated with digital platforms.    VISION ON THE MARKETS  Products and vision are increasingly closely intertwined at SIGEP to give views of the international markets’ evolution for trade members and professionals visiting the expo. From the specialist media, to the opinions of the protagonists of its chains, Sigep has in the “Vision Plaza” the format that brings to the Rimini expo specialized analysts of the Out-of-Home sectors of the major global macro-areas, providing professionals from all over the world useful tools for international competitiveness.    COMPETITIONS AND TRAINING IN THE ARENAS For over 40 years, SIGEP has also been synonymous with large international competitions that are an extraordinary tool for professional training and discovering new talents. In the six “Arenas”, international contests will alternate with demos by great Masters who use the most recent technological innovations and talks on training and culture. The Dolce Arena, the area of the key events, will host the competing talents of the Gelato Europe Cup, which is the preliminary qualifying phase for the European teams leading up to the Gelato World Cup at Sigep 2024, the Junior World Pastry Championship, and the Ladies World Championship, which will elect the next Pastry Queen. In the Gelato Arena, demos and talks. The Pastry Arena will host the Italian senior Championship and the Italian Junior Championship, as well as SIGEP Giovani. In the Coffee Arena, the best Italian baristas will compete in seven national championships valid for the World Coffee Championship. The Bakery Arena on the other hand hosts the return of Bread in the City, the international bakery contest under the aegis of the Richemont Club. There will also be spectacle and flavour in the Choco Arena, with demos and talks by master chocolatiers and cacao experts talking about chocolate’s history and peculiarities.  More

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