Holger Henrichs said Aasted was committed to combining research and development expertise.
“We’re looking at optimizing and making machinery and production more sophisticated, possibly merging biscuit and chocolate production,” he told ConfectioneryNews at Interpack 2014 last month in Düsseldorf, Germany.
“There are a wide range of opportunities that haven’t been explored in terms of combining chocolate molding with the baking of biscuits,” he said. For example, chocolate fillings for biscuits, chocolate inclusions or multicolored biscuits, he explained.
This would mean more sophisticated, premium-priced end products, he said – a strategy many companies used to survive.
While chocolate and bakery had long been associated, Henrichs said companies had always relied on separate knowledge specific to each field. However, this would change, he said, with companies demanding expertize in both areas.
This, he said, was why Aasted had started to merge biscuit and chocolate research and development at laboratory level.
Look to Japan for inspiration
Globally, Henrichs said Japan had one of the most sophisticated biscuit markets and that a lot could be learned from product development in the country. Biscuits products in Japan, he said, were often intricately designed using chocolate.
“Japan has high demands on quality and innovation. The consumers are just very demanding,” he said.
Aasted would continue to sell biscuit and chocolate machinery separately, he said, but hoped that some form of production line that merged both was in the pipeline.