Givrex Debuts Semi-Fried Falafel and More at SIAL Show
As Egyptian frozen vegetable and fruit specialist Givrex celebrates its 40th Anniversary this year, it continues to introduce new products to satisfy growing customer demand for value-added options. Among the innovative menu pleasers showcased during the October 21-25 SIAL exhibition in Paris were Semi-Fried Falafel, Vegetable Julienne and Mixed Vegetables for Couscous.
The Falafel addition to the Alexandria-headquartered company’s portfolio is especially apropos, since the product is widely believed to have originated in Egypt more than a century ago. It has long been enjoyed throughout North Africa, the Levant and the Greater Middle East, where chickpeas are often substituted for fava beans as the main ingredient in the recipe.
Wherever its roots may be – and some historians assert that the falafel actually hails from the Indian subcontinent – the nutritious meat replacement item is increasingly found on menus in restaurants and is served from street stalls, stands and food trucks around the world as a wholesome filling in pita bread sandwiches as well as a popular side dish and even main course fare.
“We think that export markets in Europe, North America and elsewhere will respond favorably to the convenience and full flavor of our Semi-Fried Falafel, which is distributed in frozen form and features paste made from a mixture of seasoned green beans and vegetables,” said Eric R. Mansour, who heads up sales and marketing efforts at Givrex.
Eric and sister Monique, who is financial controller of the family business founded in 1978 by their late father, Robert Mansour, represent the second generation of leadership at the helm. They were ably assisted at the busy Givrex booth in the bustling Paris Nord Villepinte by Monique’s daughter Chantal, and talented members of the team based in France.
Formally known as Robert Mansour & Co., the company’s wide variety of IQF vegetable products ranges from artichokes, peeled broad beans and cut green beans to sweet corn, okra, broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, taro, molokhia, sweet potatoes, grilled eggplant, onions and more.
Frozen soup ingredients include cream of broccoli, artichoke, and lentil, while bulk and IQF fruits include pomegranate, zaghloul dates, high brix strawberries, red figs, guava and mango.
Raw materials are largely sourced from farms in the fertile Nile Delta region near Alexandria. All fields are under the close and careful scrutiny of experienced agronomists and technical experts within the Givrex organization.
“Last year was our best year ever for production. As two months remain on the 2018 calendar, we are awaiting final results,” Eric Mansour told FrozenFoodsBiz.com when asked how business was shaping up currently.
Meanwhile, the company has invested in an automated line to process leaf products such as spinach. In 2017 a new industrial freezer was installed at the Alexandria plant to boost output speed, and this year a state-of-the-art multihead weigher was added to enhance portion control efficiency.
While exports to Europe, the USA, Canada, Australia, Japan, GCC countries and other Arab nations account for the lion’s share of Givrex sales, the domestic market continues to rise in importance.
“Our strategy is to double sales in Egypt over the next two to three years. “This is certainly feasible,” said Mr. Mansour. – Reported by John Saulnier