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FBS Prestige CEO: Middle East has booming bakery demand

By Kacey Culliney+

29-Apr-2014
Last updated on 29-Apr-2014 at 17:46 GMT

FBS Prestige's non-stick, tailored bakeware has proved extremely popular in the Middle East, its CEO says
FBS Prestige's non-stick, tailored bakeware has proved extremely popular in the Middle East, its CEO says

Non-stick coating bakeware specialist FBS Prestige has seen phenomenal demand from the Middle East as the country’s bakery sector evolves, its CEO and chairman says.

UK-headquartered Fluorocarbon Bakeware Systems (FBS) is a business unit of Fluorocarbon – a specialist in fluoropolymer processing for a range of industries, including food, automotive and aerospace. FBS Prestige produces tailored bakeware that can incorporate non-stick fluorocarbon coatings for bakers looking to eliminate oil use.

Speaking to BakeryandSnacks.com, CEO and chairman of FBS Prestige Trevor Wells said the company had exciting growth plans ahead that would be fueled by a new UK R&D center and newly-appointed marketing and development director Annette Campbell who brought a wealth of bakery knowledge to the company.

“We were aware we needed to bridge the gap of knowledge we have of the fluorocarbon coatings and the bakery industry,” Wells said.

“We’re going to move forward now in partnership with major bakers; that’s certainly our wish.”

Continued Middle East boom and Europe potential

Wells said the company had seen unprecedented growth in the Middle East region; something that was driven by changing dynamics in the region.

“The Middle East is a market where we’ve had exceptional results. It’s a marketing change that’s taking place there… It’s just the Westernization in that whole area now; the demand for products is just changing,” he said.

Growth for specialized bakeware was particularly strong in Saudi Arabia, he said, but also in Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Plant bakers in the Middle East were demanding high quality bakeware, he said, and had been extremely interested in the non-stick coating technology.

Europe too held fantastic promise for future growth, he added. “Mainland Europe has given us growth in the last 24 months and we see that going further.” In addition, Eastern Europe remained underdeveloped, he said, and therefore held potential.

FBS Prestige is focused on both engineering and coatings development, Wells said

Non-stick, lighter bakeware answers industry challenges

FBS Prestige was focused on engineering bakeware; designing lighter pans, for example, as well as furthering the non-stick coating technology, Wells said. The company focused 75% of its R&D on advancing the coating technologies and 25% on engineering, he explained.

Marketing and development director Annette Campbell said: “It’s the combination of those elements together that means we’ll go a lot further. The ultimate aim is to have a lighter weight product that is coated so it delivers every benefit you’d like.”

She said the company’s non-stick coatings for bakeware answered several significant industry challenges and drew focus on the oven process; an area that had become more relevant in the baking production line.

“This whole area on when the loaf is really baked, in terms of retaining softness and moistness, for example, certainly makes the whole area of what we’re doing quite exciting.”

“The whole area of looking at energy consumption, heat transfer and coatings technology – there are certainly some opportunities,” she said.

Coatings reduce need for oil – health and cost bonus

The non-stick bakeware also reduced the need for oils when baking, she said, which played into consumer health concerns and also saved on long-term costs.

“If you come back to some of the demands and challenges facing industry, at a pure bakery level the elimination of oil improves your health and food safety; that’s significant for personnel on the bakery level. But you’ve got this whole level of responding to consumer needs too to lower fat,” Campbell said.

From a cost point, she added that the elimination of oil was also an attractive shift for bakers. “While you’ve got an investment up front, the pay back makes it cost-effective.”

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