Many industries are facing challenges such as rising costs for raw materials and energy in 2023 and the candy industry is no exception.
Here are five challenges that the candy industry is facing and how liquid product recovery (pigging) can help companies improve and grow in 2023.
5 CHALLENGES FACING THE CANDY INDUSTRY
1. CHANGING CONSUMER HABITS
Consumer habits are changing. There is increasing demand for healthier foods, such as low- or no-sugar candy, with over 40% of consumers now looking for these and other alternatives when they go shopping.
Consumers also want new flavours: Skittles have brought out flavours like Wild Berry and Sour Candy; Squashies have flavours like Rhubarb & Custard and Bubblegum. Manufacturers are having to accommodate as much demand as they can in order to gain and keep access into a growing market.
However, having to produce a wider variety of products, ranging from no sugar to regular sugar and in every flavour possible is becoming increasingly difficult for manufacturers to keep up with.
2. COST OF RAW MATERIALS
Many industries are being affected by the rising cost of raw materials and ingredients.
Sugar, a key ingredient in candy production, costs 53% more in February 2023 ($0.20/lb) than it did in February 2019 ($0.13/lb).
Corn syrup, a cheaper sugar alternative, has also experienced a price rise. Adverse weather, such as La Niñas in Brazil and droughts in the US Midwest, has affected the size of corn crops, causing a spike in global trading and costs.
3. COST OF LIVING
Not only are consumers changing what they purchase based on factors such as sugar quantity and sustainability, they are also changing their purchasing habits based on price.
Intentional spending is becoming more common, with consumers deciding where to spend their money based on factors such as necessity, sustainability, and pleasure, amongst others.
Products like candy and chocolate will typically fall into the “pleasure” or “treat” category, rather than the “necessity” category. In times of increasing financial pressure on consumers where candy is not on the shopping list, it is probable that some manufacturers will also feel a financial pinch.
4. LOSS OF PRODUCT
Companies that produce liquid product, such as sugar syrups or liquid caramel, will know that at the end of a batch there is usually product left in the line. Sometimes it can be a significant amount of product.
Ridding the line of this product can result in a large amount of unusable waste product.
Pigging is a proven method of recovering usable product from pipelines. At the same time, pigging makes changeovers quicker and CIP procedures easier.
5. MAINTAINING FOOD SAFETY AND QUALITY
Producing food to a high standard is expected throughout the food industry and by consumers. Making sure that pipelines are kept clean and decreasing risks of cross-contamination and contamination throughout the process are important for consumer safety and brand reputation.
In 2021, food company Kerry conducted research based on consumers and their focus on food safety. The results showed that more than 60% of consumers had increased their focus on food safety following the COVID-19 pandemic.
The first three challenges are largely beyond the control of manufacturers. The last two challenges are not, and manufacturers can take action to reduce the amount of product that they lose and maintain food safety and quality.
Liquid product recovery (pigging) is a technology that allows companies that manufacture liquids to recover residual product from pipelines.
Very briefly, pigging works by inserting a projectile (the ‘pig’) into a pipeline and then propelling it through the line. The pig pushes the product through the pipeline and on to the next stage of processing.
The primary benefit of pigging is product recovery, however there are many more benefits of pigging.
PIGGING WITH HPS
HPS pigging systems have been successfully helping companies achieve efficient product recovery for over 25 years, with our pigs and technology continually being improved to optimal product recovery.
Our pigs and pigging system equipment (such as our pig launchers and receivers) are designed to be hygienic (sanitary), meeting FDA standards and being ISO 9001 approved. Additionally, pigs and associated equipment can be thoroughly cleaned as part of CIP procedures.
HPS pigging systems are automated and minimal human interaction is required with the pig – other than occasional maintenance checks, there are limited reasons for operators to be touching the pig.
Our pigging systems are high performing, with a recovery rate of up to 99.5% of product from full pipelines. Because the product is recovered using a hygienic pigging system, it is appropriate for further processing or packaging and is suitable for human consumption.
This results in increased yields and increased profits, as well as reduced waste and waste transport and treatment costs.
FIND OUT MORE
HPS Nottingham are a UK based pigging company with 28 years of experience.
We’re experts in industrial process pigging and process system design. We’ve helped hundreds of companies across the globe create the perfect pigging systems for their processes so that they can achieve efficient product recovery.
Contact us to talk to an expert.