Kuipers Food Processing Machinery has been engineering and manufacturing snack processing solutions for over 35 years. The company successfully delivered plants in more than 60 countries worldwide and continues to grow rapidly. At Kuipers, quality is the main priority. The company produces all its equipment in the Netherlands according to the highest machine standards in the industry. Kuipers team believes in the importance of becoming an expert in an area and delivering the most advanced and innovative technology for long-term results. Easy Engineering: What are the main areas of activity of the company? KUIPER: Kuipers concentrates on turnkey plants for the snack industry. The company places special focus on its industrial frying systems which are considered to be one of the most advanced in the world. The main applications for Kuipers’ technology are snacks such as nuts, pellets and chips. The company can essentially help producers process any product through frying. Other examples would be coated nuts, seeds, French fries, corn nuts, mini croutons and more. Although Kuipers focuses on turnkey delivery, from raw product input to packaging, the company also supplies stand-alone units. The main stand-alone machines are the coating technology and the flavouring unit. Kuipers coating machine is the only one on the market that can help producers coat their nuts continuously and automatically. This unique technology can be applied to nuts with any coating that is made of powder and water. E.E: What’s the news for 2021 about new products? KUIPER: Kuipers is focusing on innovating the current technology. Recently there were updates to the frying system design to help processors to reduce the frying oil volume required and improve frying oil turnover time. Kuipers is also trying to innovate in terms of heat recovery and sustainability of the lines when it comes to water and energy savings. The water treatment system integrated within the potato chips processing plant is currently one of the most innovative and helps processors save huge costs while significantly reducing water usage. Cost efficiency and more economical solutions are other elements Kuipers will concentrate on this year. E.E: What are the ranges of products? KUIPER: Turnkey plants for all types of nuts such as peanuts, cashews, etc.;Turnkey plants for potato chips;Turnkey plants for producing French fries;Turnkey plants for pellet processing;Turnkey plants for extruded snacks;Turnkey plants for corn nut production;Turnkey plants for mini croutons;Turnkey plants for processing seeds;Turnkey plans for processing onions;Automatic continuous coating unit;Flavouring systems for all snack types;Battering unit for nuts. E.E: At what stage is the market where you are currently active? KUIPER: The snack market is continuously growing. The main factors being the rise in population worldwide as well as the increase in disposable income, especially in developing countries. Overall, we see less time being spent at home on cooking and more outside, consequently increasing the consumption of snacks and on-the-go food products. Market such as Europe and the US show constant growth whereas in the developing countries, especially India, Brazil and other parts of SEA and Latin America, growth paste is around 4 times faster than in developed markets. This brings huge opportunities for snack processors and consequently snack machinery manufacturers. E.E: What can you tell us about market trends? KUIPER: The main trends are related to health, transparency and sustainability. Today’s consumer is more concerned of how food may affect their well being as well as how it was made and where. Nutritional value of food and plant-based ingredients are also something to be considered when it comes to food trends. The demand for vegetable alternatives has increased nut consumption, a product considered highly nutritional and a good substitution for animal proteins. New tastes and sensations are also very well received when it comes to snacks. Today’s consumer is more than ever opened to explore new cultures’ cuisines, experiment with food and be adventurous. E.E: What are the most innovative products marketed? KUIPER: Some of the most innovative snacks were in terms of tastes, for example, pickle or chicken flavored chips, blue cheese almonds or glazed doughnut popcorn. This as a result demands for technology suppliers to deliver flexible solutions capable to produce them. Kuipers intends to manufacture solutions that cater to any local market demand but also capable to produce various flavors or types of snacks. E.E: What estimations do you have for 2021? KUIPER: I believe the demand for potato chips and pellet snacks will remain constant whereas the consumption of nuts and fruit snacks will increase significantly, not only in 2021 but in the years after. During the pandemic, there was a sudden upsurge in snack sales which I believe will decrease slightly this year but maintain growing overall in the years to come. Although there has been a lot of instability in food demand throughout the year, the snack sector was fortunately one of the segments that was least affected.