Forward-Ho for Vossko New Product Launches at Anuga
From Chicken Snackbox and a Weihnachts Box of Christmas holiday-theme poultry treats featuring chicken stars, wings and coconut-covered meatballs, to Tasty Toast Chicken and Pork Schnitzel, Superballs American Football boxes, kid-friendly Minion and Unicorn-formed chicken figures and sticks, to a Fitness line of chicken, beef and vegetable combination ready meals, Vossko’s parade of new products at the recently held Anuga exhibition in Köln served up something for everybody.
“Fully cooked and frozen convenience poultry, meat and soya products are our specialty,” said Josef Knappheide, retail sales manager of the Ostbevern, Germany-based company. “Most of our offerings are poultry-based, which provide essential nutrients like protein, along with various vitamins and minerals to give consumers healthy and balanced diet choices.”
Celebrating its 35th anniversary this year, Vossko expects sales volume to reach 45,000 tons in 2017 and revenues to rise by approximately 5% to just under EUR 200 million. The family-owned company employs 1,056 people at home and abroad, of which 54% are working in Germany.
“We are growing according to expectations, and are confident that sales will continue to increase in 2018,” optimistically commented Knappheide.
However, production capacity of 15,000 tons at Vossko’s plant in Brazil on top of 40,000 tons at the flagship factory in the North Rhine-Westphalia state of Germany may not be enough to meet anticipated demand in the near future. As such, the company will build a new facility opposite its existing factory in Ostbevern to boost capacity by an additional 25%. Construction is scheduled to begin in April.
The fully automated production and packaging line will primarily turn out retail products for the expanding chilled poultry ready meals and components market in Germany. Pointing out that double-digit growth rates in this sector are in the range of 10-20% per annum, Knappheide added: “We will be fully prepared to serve chilled product buyers after the new plant comes on line in early 2019.”
Anyone seeking evidence of the chilled food takeaway trend need only visit REWE To Go convenience stores in Germany, where “ready to eat, ready to heat” products are showcased to “appeal to discerning customers, many of whom have had a hectic day,” according to the retailer.
More than 10 outlets, operating nearly around the clock, have already been opened at central locations including train stations and within busy city neighborhoods. Offerings range from snacks and salads to complete meals. Some items, such as sushi, no doubt feature previously frozen ingredients. In the minds of most consumers, however, such products are regarded as “fresh.”
“The frozen food industry must step up efforts to educate shoppers and diners about the value and other benefits of frozen products, which are often fresher than fresh and available at a better price,” said Knappheide. “Meanwhile, we are getting ready to satisfy appetites for chilled as well as frozen products.”
Vossko’s raft of new frozen product introductions at Anuga certainly scores high in the arenas of convenience, diversity, clean label and cost competitiveness. Take its pan-free Tasty Toast Schnitzels, for example. Five extra-thin breaded chicken or pork toaster-ready units come per 350-gram box. All the consumer has to do is pop them in the toaster, and a minute or so later they’re ready to eat.
For folks following a healthy diet regimen, Vossko’s Fitness Line may be just what the trainer ordered. Supplementing exercise workout suggestions printed on the exterior of the 350-gram pack are two bags of “gutes essen” on the interior. One is filled with choice of fully cooked chicken or meat medallions, strips, fillets or stew. The other is loaded with variably spiced vegetable blends. End users simply combine the contents to stir-fry or microwave before enjoying the result.
The vegetable mixtures run the gamut from carrots, courgettes, yellow peppers, bean sprouts and shitake mushrooms, to tomatoes, green cabbage, soybeans, red onions, leeks and parsnips.
Vossko’s 800-gram Snackbox offers a selection of finger food treats accompanied with dips. Among the contents are: chicken meatballs with burrito stuffing and Bombay filling; puff pastry with barbecue filling; and puff pastry dumplings stuffed with small chicken cubes and cheese.
Especially for children, Minion Freaks feature molded chicken schnitzel figures that resemble the popular minion characters Stewart and Jerry. Four golden-yellow pieces come per 300-gram box.
Unicorn enthusiasts might prefer Einhorn Futter chicken sticks with carrot, pepper and beetroot dip. Two 125-gram servings plus sauce come per 300-gram pack. – Reported by John Saulnier