Blog: Avoiding the low-cost moulder trap
Food is becoming globalized. Virtually every town and city in the world seems to boast a complete range of Asian restaurants and takeaways, as well as American fast food outlets. Mexican, European and African cuisine are all well represented around the world.
Now I sense another American favourite is making a bid for worldwide acceptance. Soft cookies, baked at the point of sale from frozen dough, are an everyday treat in their home territory, but until now have been a niche product elsewhere.
Frozen dough is used because a high moisture content, which creates the soft texture, means that the baked product dries quickly and has a short shelf life. For the retailer, buying the cookies already baked demands daily delivery, and the certainty of regularly throwing away unsold products at the end of the day.
Will the rest of the world accept this classic American treat? We all know that the aroma of a newly baked product is a sure draw for impulse purchase, and the product does not disappoint. Food service manufacturers in Europe are beginning to invest in frozen dough capacity, and the trend seems set to continue.
The growth in many countries of the coffee shop and café culture creates an ideal market, but any retail food outlet is suitable – stations, airports, schools, workplaces, hospitals and even convenience stores come to mind. Consumer demand for new foods from other cultures is also in favour of the frozen dough cookie.
For the food service manufacturer with an existing frozen food distribution system, the attraction is clear. For the retailer, cookies are baked as needed, and are completely fresh. A pattern of demand through the day and week rapidly becomes apparent, and products are baked to match that demand. Bakers are able to use existing ovens, while in the USA, frozen dough suppliers often provide counter-top ovens free of charge to outlets with no baking capacity.
Soft dough cookies come in a range of sizes and flavours in most types of soft dough. To add value, inclusions are easily possible. The choice of equipment from Baker Perkins, the leading supplier in the USA, ranges from 400mm wide machines for the craft sector to 1.2 metre wide units for highly automated industrial production. Outputs extend from 225 to 4,500kg/hr.
The production technology is proven, and easily transferred to any market around the world. Is this an opportunity not to be ignored?
Further information on Baker Perkins’ frozen dough capabilities can be found at http://www.bakerperkins.com/biscuit-cookie-cracker/processes/soft-dough-forming/frozen-dough-cookies
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