GEA notes demand from African start-ups for lolly machinery

GEA notes demand from African start-ups for lolly machinery

Specific taste preferences and lower volume needs are factors behind the hike in demand from small confectionery producers in developing countries, particularly in the African region, for mid-range versions of established machinery, notes GEA.

Angelique van der Regken, product sales manager at GEA Convenience-Food Technologies, told ConfectioneryNews.com that interest in its new ball type lollipop production machinery - the CFS Aquarius FlexFormer 400-700 - is, in the main, coming from technical buyers based largely in Africa but also in India, Indonesia and the Middle East.

Africa & Middle East trends

Sugar confectionery, in general, is popular with large sections of the less affluent sections of society in Africa on account of its low price, reports Leatherhead.

In 2010, confectionery sales in the Middle East and Africa rose by 11 per cent to $7.2bn

Sugar-free chewing gum sales in these two regions now amounts to 6,900 tonnes per annum. Besides South Africa, the largest confectionery markets in Africa can be found in Egypt, Nigeria, Morocco and Ghana.

But in terms of lollipop trends, African consumers, notes the GEA spokesperson, prefer the ball shaped versions as opposed to preferences in other emerging markets such as Indonesia, India and in South America, she said, where flat lollipops are more popular.

FlexFormer

The FlexFormer 400-700, said the supplier, is a medium capacity forming machine that was designed to produce solid or centre filled ball lollies for bunch or twist wrap but it can also be used to manufacturer flat or 3D formats.

It can produce lollipops at a rate of 400 to 700 per minute, depending on the diameter of the product, with the technology used “essentially the same as its bigger brothers, but in a more compact package.”

According to the GEA representative, the diameter range possible is 18mm to 35mm, with a possible weight span of 6 to 25 grams. “If confectioners want to save on costs, they can reduce the amount of grams but retain the same diameter of lollipop,” she said.

When asked what sweet makers could expect from GEA Convenience-Food Technologies in terms of developments, she said that the division was in the early stage phase of realizing a new form wrapper specifically for flat lollipops. “It will be market ready in 18 months to 2 years,” added the spokesperson.

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