Published on

August 4, 2020


Nick Halliday

Rather than focus on one major SKU, companies can shift towards multiple product variations to cater to a wider range of people.

A popular product could have extensions like a milk chocolate version, a ruby chocolate offshoot, a sugar-free option, dairy-free variations and more. Rather than stick with limited flavors that define the product, the product can offer a wide range of flavors, nutritional values and omitted ingredients to appeal to a much wider segment of the market. With product quality improvements and new options continually emerging, companies can drive higher profits and increase their word-of-mouth reach from excited consumers.

Innovative changes in bar and chocolate machinery design are enabling plants to be more flexible and adaptable. Being able to quickly change between product coatings is a key requirement. Increased agility of product lines allows for faster changeover and better speed to market. Utilizing continuous melters that are built to ensure this level of flexibility are a key component in manufacturing lines that help multinational brands and co-manufacturing outfits keep up with the rapidly changing consumer trends and boost their bottom line.

Emerging trends of product variations

There is a major shift towards more product variations among food manufacturers, including the bar and chocolate industry. A popular product used to be ran in large batches. Now, that same product might have a handful of flavor variations and even special seasonal runs, causing manufacturers to shorten product cycles. Bar and chocolate manufacturers are looking to increase SKUs that provide variations on flavors, health benefits and ingredients.

In 2019, the value of domestic food market shipments in the US was $794.4 billion and healthy variations of food are currently driving growth. Companies are also working to plan ahead by examining the shifts in popular flavors. Being prepared to test product ideas and take new products to market faster will allow your plant to adapt to consumer trends as they are changing.

Cracking the challenges of changeovers

With trends moving to more product variants, frequent and efficient product changeovers are crucial. This can be incredibly time-consuming with large machines and melters that are difficult to clean. Typically, older equipment isn’t made with sanitation in mind, which means they aren’t equipped for the required level of production flexibility.

Rapid melting, ease of sanitation (especially allergen cleanability) and minimal downtime are the three pillars of producing multiple SKUs. If bar and chocolate manufacturers are going to move towards product variations, they will need to replace their old machines with agile chocolate processing machines that are hygienically built for easy cleaning and accessibility.

Allergen Threats

Trying to push old equipment through fast changeovers can lead to dangerous cross contamination of ingredients. Allergen cleaning is crucial to customer health, avoiding reputational damage to brands and expensive product recalls. Nuts, dairy and gluten are all very high on the list of ingredients that can be dangerous to certain people, even in their trace forms. Changeovers require all surfaces of the melter that comes into contact with the product needs to be completely sanitized.

A flexible melter will allow for fast and simple cleaning, improved allergen changeovers and the ability to switch between masses and coatings quickly.

Thorough allergen cleaning is time-consuming and interrupts production scheduling. Chocolate melters that are optimised for cleaning offer innovative designs for rapid removal of product-contact parts. When chocolate melters are easy to clean, downtime is minimized and productivity can stay high.

Mobile features for flexible positioning

A portable and compact melter will allow cleaning away from the line for less disruption and avoids the need to water in sensitive production areas. It also saves space and allows for designing an efficient plant process flow

Introducing our newest highly flexible and compact Melter V20

As a bar or chocolate manufacturer, you’re probably already planning ahead by and preparing for the changing trends of tomorrow’s market. It is very challenging to find continuous chocolate melters that are able to offer easy cleaning features and fast, efficient melting capabilities.

PTL designs for the flexibility you need.

Designed to effectively melt multiple SKUs, manage allergens and minimize downtime, the new Melter V20 is compact and flexible, so you can count on them to be fast and cost-effective. The special hygienic grid design provides high melt rates while being removable for thorough cleaning.

Enhance your production flexibility with the PTL Melter V20

The PTL Melter V20 is designed to help you meet the industry challenges of shorter product cycles and multiple product variations by supporting:

  • Easy accessibility for cleaning and changeovers
  • Supplement existing melting equipment for increased throughput
  • Shorter runs for testing specialty product variations
  • Non-core product melting
  • Short product pipelines
  • Reduced downtime

With up to 72 kilowatts of power and innovative design, we can help you improve production speed while saving energy and reducing your production downtime. Get ready for a new level of melting performance and flexibility with the PTL Melter V20.