tna talks: Everything you need to know from ProSweets 2022
posted on 24 March, 2022 by Raj Sangha - product marketing manager – confectionery, seasoning, distribution
Last month ProSweets Cologne re-opened its doors to more than 6,000 visitors and 200 exhibitors eager to discover the latest in sweet innovation. For a leader in gummy confectionery processing and packaging like tna, ProSweets has always been a key event in the calendar – and this year was no different. Our teams headed onto the show floor, hungry to share the latest market insights, provide practical demonstrations and greet industry colleagues in person after so long communicating online.
Fresh from his trip to Cologne, we caught up with Luca Menassi – Regional Solutions Specialist, Europe, MENA & Asia – to get his round-up of key learnings and predictions from ProSweets 2022 – and find out what satisfies his sweet tooth!
RS: First of all, it would be great if you could tell us – what were the main topics or challenges confectionery producers mentioned to you during the show?
LM: Overall, there were three main topics manufacturers wanted to discuss: the global shortage in electrical parts, the rise of stricter safety regulations and continued advancements in digital automation. Difficulty sourcing electrical components – especially microchips – is limiting sweet producers’ ability to commission, install and operate their processing and packaging equipment. This is especially concerning because many brands are already investing in upgrades or replacements for older equipment to remain compliant with the new ATEX regulations. It’s a real dilemma!
RS: I understand. So how can original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), like tna, help brands overcome these issues?
LM: We’re already taking steps to help brands remain compliant and profitable – including increasing our stock of popular parts and systems, ordering raw material as far in advance as possible and agreeing special contracts with electrical suppliers to get high-quality parts straight from the source. We’re also providing engineering and retrofit services for customers looking to convert their older equipment to fully ATEX-compliant models. When it comes to the retrofit process, we’re starting from a strong position because all our confectionery solutions on sale Europe carry full ATEX certification as standard.
RS: And on the topic of automation and digitalisation specifically – what are the most valuable benefits these technologies can offer processors?
LM: In my opinion, the biggest advantage of digitally enabled confectionery processing equipment is its capacity to reduce waste and keep lines competitive. Some of our customers have been able to shorten production runs without compromising yield or increasing product giveaway, thanks to the seamless integration and smart programmable settings offered by our digital equipment operating systems. Expanding the capabilities of automated production lines has been a focus for nearly 20 years, but since 2019, European governments and regulatory bodies have been on a real ‘automation push’. In the last three years, we’ve seen different national campaigns, including tax deduction incentives, emerge to encourage food producers to embrace more of what the digital revolution has to offer. Efficiency-boosting benefits like this will become even more valuable as global inflation drives up the cost of raw materials.
RS: Based on your experience at the event and any other insights you might have, what will be the most influential trend in confectionery manufacturing over the next 12 months?
LM: 2022 will be all about reduction and recycling. Consumers are balancing their desire for sweet treats against their knowledge of the harmful effects of excess sugar consumption. While we aren’t directly involved with the formulation of the sugar syrups for gummy confectionery, our highly accurate seasoning systems empower sweets producers to manage sugar content and achieve a more attractive nutritional profile.
Sustainability is another key theme. We will continue our investigations into new biodegradable packing materials throughout 2022, but a more immediate strategy we’re trialling is whether smaller pack sizes can reduce the amount of material brands need for bags.”
RS: And finally – what is your favourite type of gummy product and why?
LM: My favourite confectionery isn’t actually a gummy – it’s a special liquor praline that we devised many years ago for a brand called Heindl. We called it a Likor Praline and it features a sugar coating (good for an energy boost), chocolate inner layer (always nice to have some chocolate) and liquor centre. With 20 pieces per box, you don’t need to get any wine or beer to go with dinner!
 End of show report, ProSweets Cologne 2022 proves to be a reliable industry get-together, February 2022, https://media.koelnmesse.io/prosweets/redaktionell/prosweets/download/press/final-report-2022.pdf
Ready to learn more? Read our blog on how to maximise productivity and flexibility in gummy processing.