On the occasion of the upcoming Gulfood Dubai, Frozen Food Europe magazine had the opportunity to interview Scelta Mushrooms, one of the important producers of mushrooms and vegetable snacks in Europe, to find out their opinion about the Middle Eastern market, their range of products and about their R&D projects.
Interview with Jules Klerken
Please describe your interest in Gulfood Dubai
Gulfood is the perfect opportunity to reach a lot of (potential) customers in a short period of time. Also last year we were present at the Holland pavilion. Being a fair with a high amount of quality visitors, it proved to be a good showcase for our new, innovative products, but also existing range.
How important is this region for Scelta?
Business for Scelta Mushrooms in this region has proven to be successful and we still see that there are more than enough opportunities left. Our wide assortment consists of various innovative products which fit perfectly into this market. Through good partnerships we bring our products to the market. Recently we started business in UAE and Saudi Arabia. Other countries will follow soon!
What innovations will you present at Gulfood?
Besides our standard assortment, we will concentrate on showing innovative vegetable snack products and preserved mushrooms in cans, jars and Ecopouches (mushrooms cooked in their own juice).
Let’s revisit the SNEX®range for our readers and discuss its lineup.
Snex®responds to the growing demand for healthier snacks. The product was developed around the key values of taste, health and sustainability. Snex®are full of the best quality vegetables. They contain no artificial colors or additives, are 100% meat free, and one portion has a significant contribution to meeting the recommended daily intake of vegetables. Processing and freezing shortly after harvest results in a nutritious fingerfood. Available in combinations like mushroom, mushroom with broccoli, mushroom and spinach, sauerkraut or ratatouille; and suitable for everyone, from meat-eating, kosher or halal consumers to vegetarians! The Popeye spinach snack is indeed our latest winnovation: these delicious snacks with crunchy bite are made from the best quality spinach. The recognizable Popeye image appears on the packaging and will most certainly support a successful introduction in retail.
What other snacks complete your portfolio of brands?
We supply a whole range of nutritious vegetable snacks with tasty coatings. From onion rings to onion bhajis and from breaded mushrooms to battered vegetables, the options are endless. New developments are for example macaroni and cheese snacks, puff pastry products and vegetable croquettes.
One of your latest R&D projects is the Ecopouch®. Please offer details about it.
Ecopouch®mushrooms are clean label, ambient mushrooms (retorted in its own juice), packed in aluminum bags. The mushrooms are being used in for example pâtés, wraps, breakfast meals, sandwiches, salads, cheese-preparations, fish-garniture, omelets and the juice can also be used, e.g. as base for mushroom soups and sauces. The true advantage of the Ecopouch® lies in the combination of a tasty mushroom with crunchy bite (similar to fresh), with a 2 year shelf-stable shelf-life. No artificial additives are being used, resulting in a “100% mushrooms” declaration on the packaging. On request we can even add a seasoning to create a full convenience product.
Please describe the typical timeline of a new product development.
It starts with an idea about for example a new vegetable snack, coming from existing/new customers or ourselves. Afterwards we produce hand-made samples with care and discuss taste, shape etc. with our customers. If necessary, the product will be adjusted to the customers’ wishes. Re-sampling takes place until agreement on the new product has been reached. After this step translation into production is taking place; producing the finished product on a larger scale.