The company said the reformulation includes low fat alternatives and products made with “more natural” flavours.
The new line of products includes bakestable fudge and caramel pieces as well as caramel fudge, brownie fudge, clotted cream fudge and vanilla fudge pieces. These can be added to cake and biscuit mixes, or can be directly incorporated into baked goods, cereals, frozen desserts or ice creams.
The company said the inclusions are also suitable for confectionery goods such as chocolate, where they can be added in order to deliver a more indulgent finished product.
The move is part of Pecan Deluxe’s recently announced investment programme, which will see the firm invest in new equipment and expand its range of products.
The firm, which manufactures ingredients such as nuts, seeds and cookie crunch, decided to instigate the New Product Development (NPD) programme in order to be able to cater for the changing demands in snack eating, spokesperson Becky Ray told BakeryAndSnacks.com in April.
"Manufacturers are often looking to add a healthy twist to indulgent products such as ice-cream," she said. "So Pecan Deluxe decided to add a healthy perception to their products."
The new product line is said to be an easy way to add indulgence into a wider range of finished products, with the company increasing the flexibility of the inclusions so they may be added to applications such as baked goods.
The inclusions can be stored at ambient temperatures, which the firm says could keep costs down by removing the need for chilling
Pecan Deluxe said its ingredients are made in a nut-contamination-free confectionery area. It has also increased it focus on product traceability in response to consumers demanding more information on where ingredients are from, as well as the growing interest in food types such as fair trade, organic and origin specific.
As part of its NPD programme, the company is also developing a range of nut and seed products such as pumpkin seeds that are covered in chocolate. In addition, the company said it would look at reformulating some of its older lines, for example by adding green tea extracts to chocolate.
"While these products are not low-fat, the changes made will give the ingredients a healthy 'twist'," explained Ray.
The investment follows on from the company's earlier commitment to manufacture a range of healthier nut and seed products. In 2006 the firm launched basil & garlic pine nuts, teriyaki cashews and jerk almonds.
Pecan Deluxe is the UK subsidiary of the US Pecan Deluxe Candy company. Both supply food ingredients specifically for sauces, fillings, nut pralines, dessert toppings, ice creams and chocolate. Pecan Deluxe is also expanding its production facilities in the UK, and is hoping to increase exports across the EU and the US.
Changing food market
Healthy foods are increasingly the preoccupation all over the world, as in 2005 approximately 1.6bn adults were overweight and 400m were obese, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO). It further predicts that by 2015 2.3bn adults will be overweight and more than 700m will be obese.
As more and more people actively trying to manage their weight, confectioners and bakers are seizing on the opportunity to meet these changing demands.
Nuts and seeds are consequently growing in popularity, thanks to their image of being a health food. In 2006, the global market was worth $10879.5 compared to $7283.8 in 2002, according to data from Euronomitor.