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BESTMIX puts ‘kick’ in Napoleon sweets

Napoleon 100 years

It’s Napoleon’s birthday! It has been a hundred years since the little round sweet with the acid ‘kick’ started waking up the taste buds of young and old sweet-lovers alike. Confiserie Napoleon BV was originally a company from Antwerp, but since the acquisition of Verduijn in 2003, it has been located in Breskens in the Dutch province of Zeeuws-Vlaanderen. This is where the production of Napoleon confectionery in all its flavour variants (fruit, liquorice, mocha, etc.) takes place, as well as Anta Flu sweets and Lemco Lollies. In addition to these brands, Confiserie Napoleon BV also manufactures for a number of British private labels. The international distribution of the 6,200 tons of sweets that the company produces each year is handled by Pervasco, a trading organisation with the same owner. Confiserie Napoleon BV has 46 employees.

Out-of-date product declaration system posed a risk

Prior to the takeover in 2003, Rose Van Lierde, QWCE coordinator (quality, working conditions and environment) at Confiserie Napoleon, worked for the confectionery manufacturer Verduijn (subsidiary of Van Melle). Verduijn was using an out-of-date product declaration system and after the takeover, Napoleon was given permission to keep using this package. But the system could not be developed any further and would only run on an old version of MS Windows.

“What would happen if the system were to drop out?” wondered Rose Van Lierde. “The risk was too great. Yet the package contained a vast amount of valuable information: recipes, product descriptions, translations, etc. So we went looking for a new, up-to-date solution and it wasn’t long before we arrived at Adifo and their BESTMIX solution.”

Riding a wave of innovation

With BESTMIX Recipe Manager, food manufacturers are able to manage all of their ingredients, recipes, product specifications and product declarations, from concept through to labelling. After a visit to establish Adifo’s credentials, Confiserie Napoleon was quickly persuaded about the package’s capabilities.

“I was immediately won over by BESTMIX” says Rose Van Lierde. “The package features everything we need, as well as offering the ability to integrate with external applications, such as our ERP system. Adifo is also a provider you can trust. They have some big names in the client base who regularly come up with suggestions for improvements. Adifo then takes a look to see whether these changes can be of value for other companies. That enables you to ride a wave of innovation as an SME. Adifo also monitors the legal side of product declarations closely. When you work with them, you can be sure of complying with the latest requirements in plenty of time. I’m thinking specifically here of the new allergen declaration needed from 2014. With Adifo, that’s a big something less to worry about.”

Time-savings and total control with BESTMIX

Rose Van Lierde has been working with the package very happily since 2011. Implementation went very smoothly and BESTMIX now contains several hundred recipes.

“BESTMIX contains all of the properties and names of the raw materials we use,” she says. “It then translates these into a product declaration for our labels. The package is very easy to use and enables me to make changes to declarations or ingredients myself. That represents significant time-savings compared with the old days when I had to contract every change out. And when I can’t do it myself, Adifo is on hand with the answer. They offer a really good service, including taking over the screen quickly to show me exactly what I have to do.”

Simulation environment for new natural flavours

Confiserie Napoleon aims to go down a new path with its products by using natural flavours in addition to the natural colours it uses now. These are healthier, but also usually more expensive, so Napoleon has to go looking for the best value for money.

“We have set up a test environment in BESTMIX®specifically for simulating new products and recipes,” concludes Rose Van Lierde. “My new work colleague found her way round the new package in no time at all and is now busy experimenting with all the possibilities. I am sure that we’ll be able get a great deal more out of the package over the next few years.”

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Rose Van Lierde KAM manager at Confiserie Napoleon BV

Rose Van Lierde KAM manager at Confiserie Napoleon BV

BESTMIX contains all of the properties and names of the raw materials we use. It then translates these into a product declaration for our labels. The package is very easy to use and enables me to make changes to declarations or ingredients myself.