'Replacing baddies with goodies': SVZ boosts Belgium plant capabilities as consumers turn to fruit and veg ingredients for nutrition & natural color

By Rachel Arthur contact

- Last updated on GMT

Blueberries: important both nutrition and natural color. Pic: getty/rosswoodhall
Blueberries: important both nutrition and natural color. Pic: getty/rosswoodhall

Related tags: SVZ, Belgium, Color

Fruit and vegetable ingredient supplier SVZ sees an increasing number of brands turning to fruit and veg as a way of replacing less healthy ingredients (think sugar in beverages or flour in bakery goods) with a nutritious punch.

Catering for demand, it is boosting capabilities at its Belgian processing plant: investing in increased capacity and updated processing technologies. 

The investment in the Rijkevorsel plant is led by a new pasteuriser, which will help the facility boost production by around 20% without compromising on quality.

The facility has already seen a ‘massive reduction’ in CO2 emissions over the last two years: and the investment will further decrease heat consumption and explore new ways of reusing expended energy.

SVZ says the drivers behind the investment are two-fold: firstly to meet rising demand for consumer demand for fruit and vegetable ingredients, but secondly to also increase sustainability.

Consumer demand

SVZ produces a portfolio of purees, puree concentrates, juice concentrates, NFC juices and IQFs from across 35 fruits and 15 vegetables, ranging from strawberries, raspberries and kiwi fruit to carrots.

The company notes the inherent qualities of its fruit and vegetables – such as natural and plant-based – means they are ideally placed to tap into today’s overarching consumer trends. Add in certification such as non-GMO and organic and Kosher and Halal and the company is confident that consumer demand is only set to grow.

Furthermore, fruit and vegetable ingredients can replace other ingredients that are increasingly viewed as ‘baddies’ by consumers: fruit, for example, being ideal to replace sugar across beverages and dairy.

Vegetables, meanwhile, can replace flour in bakery applications and deliver a more nutritious punch. While this only accounts for a small portion of the company’s sales at the moment (the biggest chunk of the company’s products are destined for juice and beverages, accounting for around 55% of sales, while dairy and icecream accounts for around 20%) it’s a trend the company sees growing and growing.

Furthermore, manufacturers across food and beverages are turning to fruit and vegetable ingredients as a natural and vibrant source of color for their products.

Sustainability

SVZ has four processing plants located in the US (Othello, Washington State); Poland (Tomaszów); Spain (Almonte) and Belgium (Rijkevorsel).

The new investment in the Belgium facility follows similar expansions across other plants. The US plant has boosted its puree line and invested in new automation technology to further streamline the production process, while a recent investment in water treatment allows water to be cleaned and reused.

Meanwhile, the Almonte site has recently been fitted with solar panels and a new cold storage facility constructed to reduce reliance on third-party storage and transportation; and in Poland, the Tomaszów facility’s concentrate line has been bolstered.

The company is also working towards 100% sustainable sourcing by 2030​: a goal which requires working in depth with farmers across the supply chain.

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