"In Germany, demand for potato and onion peeling machines is greater than for salad processing machines" – FreshPlaza.com

The interest in sliced or convenience goods is relatively manageable in Germany. Karsten Schmitz, Managing Director of FOODCONS & Co., can nevertheless report an increase in demand for die-cutting machines for fruit and vegetables. “However, I am not quite sure whether it is related to the demand on the market or to the fact that there has been an investment backlog in the last two years. After all, companies are currently earning more again and they accordingly invest more to drive their own production,” Schmitz notes.

Karsten Schmitz (left) with his colleague Albert Köster (back right) at the European Convenience Forum 2022.
Punching machines are particularly popular in vegetable processing, he says. “We specialize in die-cutting machines, which are available in various designs, whether manual or automated. For example, we offer machines that can cut tomatoes or other vegetables and fruits into slices, corners or sticks,” Schmitz says.
Worldwide distribution through Sormac
Through Sormac, FOODCONS partner from the Netherlands, their machines are now also sold worldwide since 2019. FOODCONS itself is primarily responsible for selling the machines in Germany and Austria, although the company is also responsible for marketing Sormac’s machines here. “Thanks to Sormac, we are represented in just about every country. However, in many Eastern European countries, investments are not yet as high because the market there has not yet developed as much.”
Among the main customers for his machines are companies that Schmitz describes as vegetable processors, “These are companies that process vegetables, which in turn are supplied to gas stations, supermarket chains and sandwich companies. In markets such as the USA or the Netherlands, considerably more machines can be marketed than in Germany. However, Germany continues to represent one of the largest markets for our products in Europe.”

FS-1500 die-cutting machine. The FS-1500 die-cutting machine can be used to cut fruits and vegetables into cubes, slices or sticks. Photo: FOODCONS
Stainless steel price increased by 45-50 percent
FOODCONS’ production has also been affected by the current crises and high costs. “We already had to resort to foreign suppliers because the German options are exhausted. Prices are rising very sharply at the moment. The price of stainless steel has increased by 45-50 percent within three to four months. Our machines are largely made of stainless steel. In addition, there are problems with the procurement of electrical components such as safety switches, frequency regulators or PLC controls.”
With staff shortages in the industry even before the pandemic and further increases in the minimum wage, the punch presses offer a way to cut costs. The move toward automation and the benefits of the machines is therefore “unstoppable,” according to him. “Automation is a major issue, especially in the feeding of the raw material and the subsequent removal of the cut goods. This will become a big market in the future.” High interest currently exists for die-cutting machines in the tomato, citrus and apple sectors.
Video of FS-1500 punching machine. Source: YouTube/ FOODCONS
Salad processing, potato and onion peeling machines in the foreground in Germany
Schmitz says, “In other countries, many more vegetables are processed, whereas here in Germany, the focus is on processing lettuce. In Germany, however, demand for Sormac potato and onion peeling machines is greater than for processing machines for salads. This is exactly the opposite in many other countries. However, there are very many small to medium-sized salad or vegetable processors in Germany, and Sormac developed the VeggieLine program for them.”
“In supermarkets, absolutely nothing has changed in the convenience sector in recent years, unlike in the Netherlands or other countries. Which I honestly can’t quite understand. Presumably, this area should simply be advertised even more strongly. After all, if 90 percent of the goods on offer come from the fresh area and only about 10 percent consist of pre-cut goods, the market obviously cannot increase,” Schmitz concludes.
Video of Sormac/FOODCONS’ potato processing line. Source: YouTube/FOODCONS
For more information:
Karsten Schmitz
Amerner Str. 53
41366 Schwalmtal
Tel.: +49 2163 5777461
Publication date: Thu 30 Jun 2022

We require you to complete all the text fields marked with *.
Receive the daily newsletter in your email for free | Click here
Other news in this sector:

<< Back | FreshPlaza.com
© FreshPlaza.com 2022
Sign up for our daily Newsletter and stay up to date with all the latest news!
You are receiving this pop-up because this is the first time you are visiting our site. If you keep getting this message, please enable cookies in your browser.