The demand for washers or convenience products is quite manageable in Germany. However, Karsten Schmitz, CEO of FOODCONS & Co., reports an increase in demand for cutting machines for fruit and vegetables. “I’m not entirely sure if it’s related to market demand or the fact that there have been delays in investment over the last few years. After all, companies are earning more and are therefore investing more to increase their production,” he said. Schmitz.
Karsten Schmitz (left) with his colleague Albert Köster (back right) at the European Convenience Forum 2022.
Cutting machines are especially popular in vegetable processing, Schmitz says. “We specialize in cutting machines available in different models, manual or automated. For example, we offer machines that can cut tomatoes or other vegetables and fruits, into slices, slices or sticks,” says Schmitz.
Worldwide distribution through Sormac
Through Sormac, a partner for FOODCONS in the Netherlands, their machines have also been sold worldwide since 2019. FOODCONS is responsible for the sale of the machines in Germany and Austria, but also for the marketing of Sormac machines here in Germany. “Thanks to Sormac, we are represented in almost every country. But in many Eastern European countries, investment is still not very high because the market is not yet so developed.”
Among the main customers of his machines are companies that Schmitz describes as vegetable processors: “These are companies that process vegetables, which in turn are delivered to petrol stations, supermarket chains and companies that supply sandwiches. In markets such as the USA or the Netherlands, more machines can be marketed than However, Germany remains one of the largest markets for our products in Europe. “
FS-1500 cutting machine. FS-1500 can be used to cut fruits and vegetables into cubes, slices or sticks. Photo: FOODCONS
The price of stainless steel has increased by 45-50%
The production of FOODCONS has also suffered from the current crisis and high costs. “We had to turn to foreign suppliers because German supplies were out. Prices are rising a lot right now. The price of stainless steel has risen 45-50% in three to four months. Our machines are mostly made of stainless steel. There are problems. with the purchase of electrical components such as safety switches, frequency controllers or PLC controllers. “
With the shortage of staff in the industry, even before the pandemic, and further increases in the minimum wage, cutting machines are helping to reduce costs. The transition to automation, with the benefits it brings, is therefore “unstoppable,” according to Schmitz. “Automation is important, especially in the feed of raw materials and the subsequent removal of cut products. This will be a major market in the future.” There is currently a strong interest in cutting machines in the tomato, citrus and apple sectors.
Video of the FS-1500 cutting machine. Source: YouTube / FOODCONS
In Germany, machines for peeling potatoes and onions are most in demand
Schmitz says: “In other countries, far more vegetables are processed, while in Germany the focus is on salad processing. In the country, however, the demand for Sormac potato and onion peels is greater than for machines for processing. Salad processing. This is exactly the opposite in many others. In Germany, however, there are many small and medium-sized processors of vegetables or salads, and Sormac has developed the VeggieLine program for them. “
“In recent years, in supermarkets, absolutely nothing has changed in the freshly carved sector, unlike the Netherlands or other countries. I honestly can not explain why. The sector should probably just be more published. After all, if the 90 per cent of the products offered come from the fresh food sector, and only about 10% consist of fresh cut products, the market obviously cannot grow ”, concludes Schmitz.
Sormac / FOODCONS potato processing line video. Source: YouTube / FOODCONS
For more information:
FOODCONS GmbH & Co. KG
Amerner Str. 53
41366 Schwalmtal – Germany
+49 2163 5777461