This is the last in our series of Supply Side Innovators featured in our Bake Twentyfive issue.
Retail bakeries and foodservice providers are continuously facing new challenges and trends. Specific trends relate to efficiency, ergonomics, product differentiation, quality, shelf life, clean labels, reduced product waste, safety and availability of skilled and committed staff, says Andy Sigrist, director of special projects at Unifiller Systems. “Their customers expect products of higher quality, healthier and fresher,” he says. “Differentiation in a competitive environment includes the need for products that are unique, with appealing visual appearance and with a larger variety of inclusions.”
Local trends, such as tres leches cakes in Central and South America, are becoming more popular worldwide. The gluten-free sector continues to grow. Single-serve desserts continue to be popular with more varieties being developed. Unifiller offers specific solutions in all of these areas.
“Unifiller has a specific focus on retail bakery and foodservice and offers a wide product range of equipment and solutions geared to this section of the market,” Sigrist says. “For example, where the requirement for more delicate and fresher products is a challenge for the baker, Unifiller offers opportunities with the new SV product valve technology on depositors that allows for easier and smoother product flow through the equipment allowing for larger inclusions to pass through and optimally maintaining the integrity of delicate products.”
Retail bakers and foodservice customers increasingly replace pneumatic controlled equipment with electronically controlled Unifiller equipment, Sigrist says. Unique Unifiller electronic servo-controlled depositors are able to control the deposit cycle more accurately (compared to industry typical pneumatic depositors), spread products more evenly, deposit more accurately and provide for smaller minimum portions. They are faster to set up on the touch screen with recipe storage, reducing the need for skilled workers.
From a Unifiller perspective, the equipment trends are to replace mechanical motion and adjustments increasingly with electronics. While this trend already has a solid foothold on larger, industrial equipment, it is becoming more affordable and common on smaller equipment that is more typically used in the retail market.
“Unifiller single-piston and multi-piston depositors with servo control are providing unmatched solutions to control depositors more accurately,” Sigrist says. “Beyond that they provide menu-based recipe storage, statistics, production tracking and ability to communicate amongst each other and with supervisory control systems. Robotic solutions from Unifiller, already a stable product line of Unifiller for larger automated systems, will become more feasible and common for the retail bakeries and foodservice companies, offering new possibilities to innovation.”
Unifiller Systems has a unique focus related to retail bakeries and foodservice. A large team of consultative customer representative are continually in the field with customers listening to them and observing their challenges. A unique Applications team at Unifiller staffed with technical experts then uses the feedback to work with a dedicated Development team to focus on providing innovation with the best possible solutions. The fully equipped Unifiller Technology Center provides customer training, personal mentoring, demonstrations and live testing using original Unifiller equipment. Partners and customers benefit from the ability to do perfect test production for customized, innovative new products.