Gobbled up: German snack company bought UK-based Popchips

Image result for popchipsGerman food company Intersnack Group has snapped up UK-based potato crisps maker Popchips. The company  revealed that its British arm, KP Snacks, which makes KP nuts, Hula Hoops, Butterkist popcorn and Tyrrells crisps, had bought the company for an undisclosed sum. KP Snacks said it bought the Popchips brand in the UK and Europe but another company, Popchips Inc, would continue to operate separately in North America and other markets. Mark Thorpe, chief executive of KP Snacks, said: ‘Popchips is a fantastic addition… and we believe it significantly strengthens our proposition.’ It comes after KP Snacks’ recent takeover of Tyrrells crisps. (Source: thisismoney.co.uk)

Salty facts: American salty snacks market to reach $29 billion by 2022; dominated by Frito-Lay

Related imageHow Americans eat has evolved to match the frequently hurried, harried and hectic lifestyles of today’s consumers, says market research firm Packaged Facts. That shift has been a boon to convenient food options, including salty snacks such as potato chips, popcorn and pretzels. In its new report, “Salty Snacks: U.S. Market Trends and Opportunities,” Packaged Facts estimates retail dollar sales of the U.S. salty snacks industry at $24 billion in 2017, expected to exceed $29 billion in 2022. Despite competition from other snacks, such as chocolate and non-chocolate confections, cookies and crackers, the outlook for salty snacks remains bright. Future growth is expected to come from products that are as flavorful as possible but also as healthy and nutritious as possible. The report shows that PepsiCo controls about 60% of retail sales in the American salty snacks market through its Frito-Lay division. The Shelby Report. Also read report by Potato Business

Sobering thought: This Fryday, embrace the crinkle cut, the french fry ideal!

Image result for crinkle cut friesBaptized in oil, anointed with salt, the fry stands alone. Of all the culinary wonders and the many connections made in our lives by food, fries are the threads that bind the steak frites of Paris bistros and the rural American roadside dive. The humble potato, pulled from the earth and living at the very center of our deep fried hearts. National Fry Day is July 13 this year in a mystical aligning of planets or french fries, falling on a Friday. Literally Fryday. For the blessings of hand-cut, shoestring, big ole steak fries and curly, for all the good done by duck fat and the endless charm of cousin tater tot, there is but one french fry ideal. Excuse me, frydeal. That is the crinkle cut, the jagged, unapologeticly-frozen-yet-redeemed-by-hot-oil pinnacle of crunch, starch and salt. Those ridges and valleys, all those pointy ends all add up to the pound for point most perfect fry… Read further

On this National French Fry Day, ORE-IDA introduces Potato Pay, the future of mealtime bribery

Image result for This National French Fry Day, ORE-IDA Introduces Potato Pay, the Future of Mealtime BriberyToday is National French Fry Day in the US. In a press release issued earlier today, potato processor ORE-IDA says the company knows it’s at times hard to get kids to eat their dinner. Mealtime serves up tantrums and tears regularly. It usually takes some sort of bribe or game to get them to eat that one piece of broccoli, the company says. So, why change a method that we all know already works, when it can simply be renamed? Meet Potato Pay, a new and easy way to get your children to eat their dinner. Each fry is a piece of crispy golden currency designed to be the most satisfying bribery tool possible. Just pay your child with the ORE-IDA fries they love to eat, in return for bites of the foods that they don’t. For example, one bite of chicken = one fry, a mushroom = three fries and a spoonful of quinoa = five fries. Refer to the easy-to-use mealtime bribery chart, or “Frynancial Guide,” to see the fry value of various food items. Ore-Ida says the idea for Potato Pay is simple yet powerful —mealtime can be a real struggle for parents… Full press release

Key Technology appoints Bret Larreau as Director of Latin America and Asia Sales

Key Technology, a member of the Duravant family of operating companies, announces the promotion of Bret Larreau to the position of Director of Latin America and Asia Sales. Larreau is responsible for managing Key’s sales activities in the Latin America, Asia Pacific and Australia/New Zealand regions to bring the company’s digital sorters, vibratory conveyors and other automation systems to food processors and other manufacturers. In addition to managing sales in these regions, Larreau will continue to support Key’s close relationship with PepsiCo’s global business as their Major Account Manager. “This InterContinental region is extremely important to Key – we’ve got a strong foundation with experienced sales and service teams and an impressive installed base of equipment. We are positioned for growth with our best-in-class VERYX® sorters and Iso-Flo® conveyors, since processors in these regions increasingly want sophisticated technologies to improve product quality and food safety as well as yields as they compete globally for business,” said Steve Pellegrino, Senior Vice President of Global Sales at Key.  Continue reading

Belgian potato processor says it responds to consumer demands

Image result for lutosaIn an interview with Dan Orehov or Potato Processing International magazine, the  marketing director of Lutosa, Françoise Saint-Ghislain, discussed trends and innovation in processed potato products. Orehov asked her how she views the current market trends concerning processed potatoes, including french fries, and in particular what consumers prefer. “We noticed a rise in our customer’s demand for organic-based products,” Saint-Ghislain said. “Therefore, we have been expanding our existing range of frozen fries (Straight Cut and Pom’Steak), wedges, mashed potatoes, and potato flakes (for instant mash), by introducing frozen dices. The organic range targets the industry, the food service and retail markets.” Saint-Ghislain also said that gluten-free is a trend where Lutosa can easily play a role as all its fries and cut products (wedges, slices, dices…) are 100% gluten-free. “Staying in is the new going out!,” Saint-Ghislain said. People are gathering more and more at home, ordering food online. Read more

Mushy no more: Lamb Weston’s solution for the ‘soggy fry’ unveiled

Image result for soggy french friesA french fry gets soggy in 5 minutes. Lamb Weston wants to keep it crispy for 60. Its customers, like McDonald’s and Yum Brands, the owner of KFC, are increasingly teaming up with on-demand delivery services. But travel is brutal for French fries, especially when they’re squeezed next to a cold drink and a warm burger in a paper bag. The company’s basic French fries will stay crunchy for about five minutes. It has recently introduced a new variety with a special batter that can keep crispy for close to an hour — even after being microwaved at home. Lamb Weston believes the meal delivery trend in China will go global, and wants to be ready. Lamb Weston had already developed a French fry batter that could keep fries crispy for 12 minutes. So food scientists at the company’s laboratory in Richland began tinkering with the recipe to extend a fry’s life even longer. Read more

McCain NZ pilot programme puts the power into potatoes

Image result for Pilot programme in Timaru puts the power into potatoesThe humble potato is in for a shocking multi-million dollar makeover in New Zealand. An industry pilot programme worth almost $16.8 million, is being trialled at McCain Foods in Washdyke, Timaru, in what has been described as “electrocuting potatoes“. The three month test of the new Pulsed Electric Field Technology (PEF) machine, from Germany, began in Timaru on Wednesday and involves industrial-scale food processing of the popular french fry. The machine uses a brief electric pulse to modify and disrupt the membranes of cells in plant or animal material. The aim is to produce healthier fries as the potatoes absorb less oil during the cooking process after having the PEF treatment. The electric field being pulsed through uncut potatoes during processing alters their microstructure, which results in a more controlled release of sugar, more uniform coloration and reduced oil uptake. Read more

Useful publication: Guide to investing in a post-harvest line

Image result for wymaIf you are considering investing in a post-harvest processing line, this guide
will make the process easier. It is not exhaustive, but will help you understand
the process so you can find the perfect solution for your business. The Guide is published by Wyma, based in New Zealand. The company designs, manufactures, distributes and services post-harvest vegetable handling equipment and solutions worldwide. The Guide includes: 10 major things to consider before choosing a solution provider; 15 key questions to determine your requirements and specifications; How to develop a business case for investing in a new line; and Total cost of ownership and setting a realistic budget for now and the future. Go here to download the Guide

Lamb Weston stock gains on demand for fries, new product innovation

Image result for taco bell's nacho friesNo matter how you slice, mash or fry it, Lamb Weston Holdings has been on a tear since going public a year and a half ago. The Eagle, Idaho-based company has become a top supplier of frozen potato, sweet potato, appetizer and vegetable products to restaurants and retailers worldwide. By finding new ways to get spuds to the public in new forms, its stock keeps trending higher. Take last quarter, when the company got a sales boost via Taco Bell’s Nacho Fries. Yum Brands, the fast-food chain’s parent company, called the spicy potato fries the most popular debut in Taco Bell’s history. Lamb Weston Chief Executive Tom Werner says the company has benefited from strong demand and new product innovation. “As our strong third quarter and year-to-date results show, our commercial and supply chain teams are executing well and the operating environment continues to be favorable,” Werner said on a recent earnings call with analysts. Read more

How the Irish peel money off potatoes

Employees sort tomatoes at Keogh’s Crisps, located on the outskirts of Dublin, Ireland.Jamie Rankin is one of the largest growers in Ireland. Recently, a Kenyan delegation had visited him to learn how the Irish grow their potatoes, with farmers harvesting up to 50 tonnes per hectare. To grow seeds, he buys tissue-culture seedlings from Tops. Gerry Doherty, a manager at Tops, says with the advancement of science, testing of seed tubers to ensure freedom from especially viral diseases has become an integral part of their certification scheme. Rankin’s potatoes and those from other farmers across the country have a ready market at several factories, including Keogh’s Crisps a potato processor based in North Dublin. IPM Potato Group is working on bringing the Irish potato technology to Kenya. Read more

Better Made bags more markets outside of Michigan, now also in Japan and Qatar

Related imageBetter Made Snack Foods Inc. is breaking into more markets outside its longtime Detroit stronghold. The snack producer and local favorite, known for its potato chips, is now distributing in 14 states outside of Michigan, from Florida to Nevada, according to a company news release. It also has distributors in Japan and Qatar. In 2015, Better Made was keen on keeping with its original business recipe of hyperlocal-only, and it distributed only in Michigan. One of the reasons for expanding the snack’s reach is that when Michigan residents leave the state, they often take their bags of Better Made along with them. Ramped-up requests from smaller distributors across the country are helping the company build its brand outside of its home state. The company has plans to snag another handful of states for distribution later this year. (Source: Better Made)

UK facing ‘crisp crisis’ as ‘potato crops wrecked by Beast from the East and blistering heatwave’

First there were fears of a shortage of beer - and now it's crisps!We have already been told beer and soft drinks could run out due to a CO2 shortage. And now, we are facing a ‘crisp crisis’, it is reported. The head of a leading independent crisp makers has warned the heatwave – following on from the Beast from the East last winter – has played havoc with potato crops. Alex Albone, co-founder of Pipers Crisps, issued the warning just weeks after concerns over beer and soft drinks running out after Europe was hit by a carbon dioxide shortage. If a heatwave continues to sweep the UK, Pipers – which only uses UK potatoes – would have the option to buy produce from abroad. But Alex told the Sunday Times he would do that “virtually over my dead body”. Read more

‘Electrocuted’: Pilot programme in New Zealand puts the power into potatoes

The Pulsed Electric Field Technology (PEF) machine on display at McCain Foods in Washdyke.The humble potato is in for a shocking multi-million dollar South Canterbury makeover. An industry pilot programme, part of the Ministry for Business and Innovation funded Food Industry Enabling Technology (FIET) programme worth almost $16.8 million, is being trialled at McCain Foods in Washdyke, Timaru, in what has been described as “electrocuting potatoes”. The three month test of the new Pulsed Electric Field Technology (PEF) machine from Germany, began in Timaru on Wednesday and involves industrial-scale food processing of the popular french fry. The machine uses a brief electric pulse to modify and disrupt the membranes of cells in plant or animal material. Otago University researchers are leading the pilot trial on potato processing – with initial research showing promising results for minimising waste through having fewer broken chips during processing.  Continue reading

McCain considers building a new potato processing plant in Idaho

Related imageMcCain Foods USA, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of frozen potato products, is considering building a facility in Caldwell, Idaho, USA, and bringing as many as 544 jobs to the area. The company received approval Monday night for $400,000 in grants from the Caldwell Urban Renewal Agency. McCain Foods is considering a 17-acre property to build a proposed 164,000-square-foot facility, four times the size of Caldwell’s Walmart Neighborhood Market. The project, also known as “Project Russell,” is contingent upon the business’s final decision on a location, as the company is considering another property in Washington State. “It has been narrowed down to two sites, and the Caldwell site looks very promising,”  Caldwell Economic Development Director Steve Fultz told the Idaho Press. If the company decides on the Caldwell location, the project would begin this September, Fultz said. McCain is also expanding in Burley, Idaho. Read more