The company partnered with TNA to install an Intelli-flav 5 at its plant - resulting in a drop in production lead times from 60 to 15 days.
The new machine takes up less space than the previous equipment, allowing the company to consolidate work space and giving it the flexibility to add more lines in the future.
The current trend towards healthier snacks has been a big influence on the food industry (see box-out below), TNA North America regional sales manager Sekhar Chakkingal told BakeryandSnacks, adding that Brandneu has seen the popularity of its kale chips soar.
Meet demand and stay competitive
“Consumers are growing more concerned about the amount of fat, sugar and salt they consume. Brandneu decided to reassess its production capabilities to meet this demand and stay competitive,” he said.
Chakkingal added Brandneu previously had issues with inconsistent flavoring, and was looking for technology to ensure application accuracy and consistent coverage.
The TNA Intelli-flav 5 provides powder flavoring and liquid oil in a single drum and has a variable mass seasoning system with vibratory weigher to control oil spray.
“The Intelli-flav 5 offers improved coverage and flavor dispersion, enabling Brandneu to apply minimal salt and flavoring without compromising on the overall quality and taste of its kale chips,” said Chakkingal.
As Brandneu was looking to maximize floor space for possible future expansions, TNA needed to consider the overall footprint of the factory when planning the installation.
Operational and training needs
TNA worked on the project from start to finish including operational requirements and training needs, and the machine was integrated alongside Brandneu’s existing equipment.
“Naturally, any production interruptions can be costly for manufacturers. We were very pleased with the speed at which the equipment was installed. Effectively acting as a ‘plug and play’ system, the line was up and running again within a few hours,” said Brandneu Foods president Adrian Quinn.
Key role of health and flavor in snacks market
According to the 2015 Mintel report US Snacking Motivations & Attitudes, nearly 94% of Americans snack at least once a day and 50% of adults snack two to three times a day.
Americans also claim a preference for healthier snacking with 33% saying they are snacking on healthier foods this year compared to last year, specifically those with simple ingredients and low calorie counts.
They most often snack to satisfy a craving (62%), highlighting the important role taste and flavor play on snacking behavior.
“Our research shows Millennials are more likely to snack compared to older generations as a means to fulfill emotional and functional needs, including combating boredom or stress and increasing energy and focus,” said Mintel food analyst Amanda Topper. “Older consumers did not grow up with all-day snacking and may continue to view snacks as treats.
'Nutrition and flavor variety are important'
“Millennials are also more likely than older generations to indicate snacks with added nutrition and flavor variety are important to them. As a result they may be drawn to products with high fiber, energizing claims or protein content to stay satiated, as well as bold flavors to help add variety to their frequent snacking occasions and eliminate boredom.”
When it comes to choosing snack options, 74% of consumers agree flavor is more important than brand, while 51% agree taste is more important than health.