Customers are opting for locally sourced and less processed ingredients

More and more customers are asking us to base product development on raw materials that can be found closer to home and that have undergone less processing. For Schouten, that is grist to the mill: reducing transport emissions and eliminating processing are fully in line with our vision of the food transition. It means that together we can provide consumers with a fairer product without the ingredients first having to travel all over the world.

Finnish nuggets

A major player in the Finnish food industry contacted us about developing a nugget. The giant’s core business is dry premixes for industry and ready-to-use baking mixes for consumers. They recently developed a premix based on oats from their own region. Schouten was asked to make a nugget based on this premix.

Although the Finns had already developed the recipe themselves, they were happy to call on Schouten’s expertise. The scaling up from kitchen to factory scale requires specific knowledge

Short development time

Monique van Geffen of Schouten’s Tailor Made R&D team set to work on the assignment: “We had some great challenges. For example, the request was to use less or only slightly processed raw materials. We were able to achieve this.”
“Furthermore, the lead time for this project was very short. But… we succeeded. We received the request in February 2021, and in December we were already able to deliver the first frozen consumer boxes.”

Vacture Supply Chain Specialist

Successful chicken pieces with EU protein and wheat

For some time now, Schouten has been supplying the world’s leading frozen food company with vegan chicken pieces made from pea and wheat protein. The chicken pieces form a tasty ingredient in the consumer meals that the frozen food giant markets under its best-known frozen brand in the Netherlands and elsewhere.

Given the growing consumer interest in responsible products, more countries within the frozen food group also showed interest in the vegan chicken pieces. For example, Belgium, France, Spain and Portugal see opportunities to market our chicken pieces in supermarkets and via the food service. However, they had one condition: the proteins had to come from the EU.

Product Developer - Daphne Sanders- Product developer De leukste plant-based functies vind je bij Schouten Europe.

Replace one for one

Product Developer Daphne Sanders explains: “We started sourcing together with our R&D and purchasing departments. It was quite a job, but in the end we were able to replace the protein from China one-for-one with European protein.”

The frozen food giant’s branches are now receiving the chicken pieces in the new composition. For the food service sector, discussions are ongoing: which countries will be joining, how much will be delivered and when?”

Vegan tonijn

What are the consequences for product price and specification?

Have the vegan chicken pieces become much more expensive because of local sourcing? And does the EU protein also affect the composition of the product? Daphne is clear about this: “The ingredient list has remained virtually the same. We were able to source locally with minimal impact on specification and price.”

“It is true that the prices for the basic raw materials are higher, but the transport is much cheaper. And let’s not forget that by sourcing the protein from Europe, we save a lot of CO2. And that is also good news.”

Want to find out more?

If you are interested in what Schouten can do for you when it comes to locally sourced ingredients that have undergone little or no processing, Please contact us for detailed information.

Our vision for the food transition

Phase 1: optimising feed (1980-1990)

By fine-tuning the use of animal feed, the right balance is achieved for optimal meat production. Large specialised feed companies are involved in this.

Phase 2: eliminating meat (1990-2010+)

With the development of plant-based products, companies offer an alternative to meat. The production method is based on the extrusion of raw materials, primarily soya.

Phase 3: eliminating processing (2010-2025)

Because consumers have a greater need for ‘honest’ products, companies are developing plant-based products that are less ‘processed’ than in phase 2. The demand for authentic and, above all, fewer ingredients brings the products closer to their source.

Phase 4: eliminating transport emissions (2025-2035+)

Ingredients are sourced and produced locally as much as possible to reduce emissions and energy waste. We also envisage more sustainable packaging in the future.