After being acquired by Toronto private equity group TorQuest in the fall, Bartek has overhauled its business. TorQuest has invested in expanded operations, a new management team, updated branding, a new website and a larger tradeshow presence for Bartek.
The redesigned logo and graphics are the biggest change, though Bartek said it decided to keep its historic purple color to “pay homage to its entrepreneurial roots.” The added logomark is said to represent Bartek’s people, products, processes and customers.
John Burrows, CEO of Bartek, said “At Bartek, we have some of the hardest working people, the highest quality products, and the most reliable processes. Every one of our customers benefits from these three facets of our company, and together, they form the full Bartek experience. Our new logo is a manifestation of that experience.”
Varying acid levels for flavor
Bartek already has sales in more than 40 countries, and the relaunch was designed to help grow the global business. Jeff Billig, VP of marketing and business development at Bartek, told BeverageDaily at IFT that Bartek has doubled down the only two ingredients it offers, malic acid and fumaric acid.
He said that through Bartek’s presence at trade shows, it is trying to remind the food and beverage industry that these acids often work best in combination. Beverage, candy and baked goods are its three biggest markets for sweet and sour flavors.
Bartek advises customers that they can vary their product by varying acid combinations and levels, leading to a favorable impact on the customer’s sensory experience. The company offers malic acid in powder, regular coarse and low dust grades, and fumaric acid in powder, regular and technical grades.
“Citric acid is typically what people reach for first, not necessarily because it works best, but because it’s what they know,” Billig said.
He shared that when used together, malic and fumaric acid make for a steady, prolonged release of sour flavor, and also extends the sweetness. Malic is more soluble, while fumaric is less soluble and takes longer for sourness to come out.
High expectations from consumers
In beverages, the acids are best suited for fruit-flavored options, and also work well in higher end products with unique flavors ingredients. At IFT, Bartek showcased a Peach Mango prototype dink using different acid levels.
“If you play around with them or you combine them, that’s where you can really drive your flavor profile. And let’s face it, it’s high expectations from the consumer market these days. Everyone’s looking for something very specific,” Billig said.
Powder mixes are an important part of its presence in beverages, with less application in carbonated drinks. Billig described the ingredients as best suited for teas, any juice flavored drinks, and alcohol like hard cider and some beers and wines.
In all its food and beverage applications, Bartek says the acid ingredients improve and enhance flavor, improve dough machinability, function as antimicrobials in bakery and lower ingredient and packaging costs.
“Earlier this year, Bartek expanded its capacity by 5,000 tons/year and added to its leadership team. Additional projects scheduled for completion in 2019 include state-of-the-art upgrades to Bartek’s laboratories and office facilities and further automation of its production lines,” Bartek said.