There is a great demand for snacks that are not only tasty but also Halal. Snack producer Pure Ingredients therefore recently opened a third factory. New machinery ensures that even more people can enjoy products such as frikandells (a popular Dutch snack) and hamburgers.
Spicy aromas invade the nose upon arrival. A glance at the shiny machines shows that we are on a brand new production floor. Their size indicates a large capacity. At the new production location in the Venlo village of Belfeld, enormous quantities of snacks can be produced. Frikandells and hamburgers are the main products, as it turns out. But Pure Ingredients' snack palette is broader. Together with the other two factories in Venlo and Kaldenkirchen, it produces around 80 different products. Pizzas, for example, frikandel buns, kebabs, cevapcici (sausages), chicken wings and cheese soufflés. And: everything is halal. "Everyone should be able to enjoy our snacks. Our target group is still growing every day," says Director of Production Edgar Hanssen. It makes the new factory in the cross-border town as welcome as it is necessary.
The focus on halal ensured that around 25 years ago, Muslim people also became acquainted with a snack classic such as the frikandel. Soon bitterballen (also a popular Dutch snack), croquettes and hamburgers in a halal version followed. The Limburg-based producer is now the market leader in halal deep-frozen snacks and supplies these under the Mekkafood, Herrenhof and Lekker&Anders brands to retailers in more than 20 countries. Innovation is an important pillar. Pure Ingredients not only introduced halal alternatives but also developed a combination of two snack crackers: the frikandelburger. Another fixed value in the company is simplicity. "Our recipes consist as much as possible of ingredients that can be found in your kitchen cupboard; without fuss and unnecessary additives. That is what makes Pure Ingredients so pure. In addition, halal and sustainability go hand in hand and as little is wasted as possible," says Edgar.
The route that all frozen products take to the fryer and plate naturally requires well-oiled processes. Everything in the food industry, and therefore also at the snack giant, stands or falls with impeccable hygiene. This is crucial with regard to food quality and safety, but also with regard to Halal certification. On the floor, this means, among other things, that all machines are cleaned after production by the company's own people, Edgar explains. "They know exactly how to take the machines apart and don't miss a single edge or corner. In addition, everyone has to pass through a hygiene barrier before entering the production area. Here too, simplicity is important to us; the machine should not have complicated displays, but should be easy to use."
The owners opted for a familiar name when it came to supplying the hygiene equipment: Havantec Hygiene Solutions from Oirschot. The two have been working together for over 20 years and, apart from a hygiene barrier, the company also supplied a double standard vehicle wash machine, wash basins with accessories, a booster pump and satellites for cleaning. Hygiene solutions are by no means the only thing the Brabant-based supplier provides. Havantec supplies the food industry in the Netherlands and abroad with a total package, varying from production machines to stainless steel business equipment. That includes Pure Ingredients. "In their factories, for example, we have three 2000-litre paddle mixers, tumblers, flow dividers and standard trolleys. We are currently developing a forming machine for the Belfeld site that will give products such as hamburgers the desired shape. We adapt the machine to the requirements", says Patrick Sulèr, sales manager at Havantec.
It is no coincidence that Pure Ingredients has once again opted for the supplier from Brabant. A customer is only a customer when he comes back, Patrick believes. That is why every effort is made to provide good service. "We find it important to really help customers and always look for the best solution for their situation. We adapt standard machines to create customised solutions", he continues. Havantec is a relatively small organisation with large inventories. That gives it the necessary clout and short lines of communication so that a quick response can be made. For example, a customer who recently called in the morning for transport trolleys got them delivered the same day. Moreover, there is little selling off, as the company can supply both new and used machines and also has an after-sales service branch. It is a godsend for Edgar. "With the development of a new product, the market still needs to be explored. It is then nice to first work with a used mixer, for example, and possibly exchange it for a new one later on. That is flexibility. Havantec is very approachable. And they provide expertise and think along with us. Which means that you get exactly what you need.
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