09/02/2022 – Ingredients / Baking / backaldrin / Innovation / MENA / Gulfood
BAKED-IN BENEFITS FOR ALL: Gulfood Q&A – backaldrin International The Kornspitz Company GmbH
Over the past six decades, backaldrin International The Kornspitz Company GmbH has supplied the global baking industry with top-quality baking ingredients and innovative recipe ideas. Ahead of the firm’s Gulfood 2022 appearance, Mr Wolfgang Mayer (Member of the Executive Board; Corporate Communications & Sponsoring) highlights the solid foundations backaldrin has laid in Jordan for serving the MENA markets, alongside natural flavour and pigment innovations, plus health and nutrition advancements across its extensive product portfolio for baked goods.
Could you describe the origins and development of your company, including the history of its presence across the MENA region?
“Founded in 1964, backaldrin International has supplied the global baking industry with top-quality baking ingredients and innovative recipe ideas since then, with around 1,000 employees servicing the bakery and confectionery sector in over 100 countries today. Our product range includes over 800 products for bread, rolls and fine baked goods. In addition to our headquarters in Austria, we have seven other production sites worldwide. One of these is in the Jordanian capital of Amman – we laid the foundation for success in the Arab World back in 2006, and since 2009 backaldrin Arab Jordan Ltd has acted as a hub for the Middle East, Africa and parts of Asia, today supplying customers in more than 40 countries. The site has developed into one of the most important locations for backaldrin.”
What products do you supply to MENA? And what innovations will you be showcasing at Gulfood 2022?
“Flatbreads and fine bakery are among the bestsellers in Jordan, while our wide range of products ensures continuous growth in Jordan and the surrounding markets. At Gulfood, the focus is clearly on colourful baked goods, which are a particular highlight thanks to the natural plant pigments from the chokeberry and turmeric.
“The turmeric root is a popular and extensively used spice in the Arab world. At backaldrin, we have also brought it to a variety of baked goods. The plant pigment curcumin gives bread and other baked goods a strong yellow colour and an unmistakeable taste. We are sure that trade fair visitors will be inspired by the bakery products made with our Clean Label KurkumaMix.
“At the other end of the colour spectrum, the chokeberry used in our AroniaMix gives baked goods a violet colour. The power berry contains many secondary plant substances, a high proportion of vitamins and minerals, and has a low sugar content. Red and blue plant pigments give the berry its dark purple colour, which in turn adds a special colour to bread, rolls and even fine bakery. Best of all, it not only looks great, but also enhances baked goods with the valuable ingredients found in the berry.
“Besides such trends, in Dubai we shall not forget those products that are tried and tested: Our exhibition stand will also feature backaldrin’s classic Kornspitz® as well as pretzels, which we have become practically famous for at Gulfood. On the sweet side, we have muffins and sand cakes on the programme.”
How does your business support commercial and industrial bakery clients?
“At backaldrin, our philosophy is ‘Together we can bake it’, so we are constantly expanding our services. These range from questions about the application of new products to support product development. On the one hand, we have master bakers who support customers directly onsite, do baking training there, and share tips. On the other hand, since late-2020, we have significantly expanded backaldrin’s digital customer service, making product presentations and training courses easily possible via video conference. This means that long journeys are not necessary, and customers can contact our master bakers directly from their bakeries.”
Health and nutrition has become a priority for many consumers the world over. How is your company responding?
“The topics of health and well-being have been very popular for years, and they continue to gain importance. Wholegrain and spelt baked goods have become an integral part of our product offering. In the case of wholegrain bread in particular, alongside the well-known spelt, rye or purple wholegrain breads, there are other interesting developments like our Actipan®. The bread is rich in dietary fibre and minerals, and has a high protein and vitamin content, thanks to a targeted selection of grains. It is perfect for all sports-loving consumers.
“The ‘free from’ trend also continues to grow. Products without palm oil, bread without yeast or wheat components, and baked goods free of animal products are increasingly in demand. Already anticipating this demand, we introduced our Vegipan® many years ago.”
And how is backaldrin leveraging upon the surging interest in ‘plant-based’?
“Our Vegipan® is free from animal products and is therefore perfect for a plant-based diet. It is a vegan, yeast-free wholegrain bread with a high proportion of different grains and seeds. The bread not only tastes delicious, but also has a good shelf life, so consumers can still enjoy it after many days. Nutrition-conscious people also get their money’s worth with Vegipan®: it has a high fibre content and is a valuable source of protein.”
Sustainability is a clear consideration for all businesses today. Could you describe any such initiatives in which backaldrin is engaged?
“backaldrin has always been aware of its social responsibility. For example, 92 per cent of the ingredients for the globally renowned Kornspitz®, as well as more than 80 per cent of all cereal products, originate from Austria through regional partnerships. This not only strengthens the local agricultural landscape but also reduces transport distances to a minimum – and that is positive and important for the climate balance.
“Many resources are being used to develop viable solutions in the areas of energy saving, waste management or greening. The semi-natural areas around the company premises provide the perfect habitat and are guardians of biodiversity.
“In addition to sustainability in Austria, backaldrin is committed to development work in Africa. In 2012, backaldrin was one of the co-founders of ‘Angel Bakery’ in the middle of Kenya's largest slum, and provided all the equipment, training and technical support. More than 30 people have already completed their training as bakers there.”
Are there any recent/on-going community projects/sponsorships in which backaldrin and its brands are engaged?
“Social responsibility and sustainable business practices are a key focus at backaldrin. Besides sponsoring activities in cultural, social and economic environments, we are specifically committed to professional and amateur sport. This has become a tradition and is an integral part of the company philosophy. With the Kornspitz Sport Team, Kornspitz® supports a number of athletes from various disciplines. Authenticity, professionalism and an incredibly strong will to achieve are the fundamental values. At the same time, we strive for long-term, continuous co-operation to ensure athletes are always given optimal support. This is not just in a material sense: with Kornspitz®, the athletes have a strong partner in all walks of life. The company was also an official partner of the Jordanian Olympic Committee.”
What current trends, challenges and opportunities can you identify in MENA markets?
“The effects and challenges of the global pandemic have been felt in all business and corporate areas. Maintaining communication with our customers and guaranteeing supply were our top priorities during this time. The pandemic has also partly changed consumer behaviour. Due to good, longstanding relationships with our partners and customers, we were able to react quickly and competently to market requirements and trends. Beyond that, there is a global trend towards a healthier and more sustainable lifestyle – and our products and corporate philosophy meet that perfectly.”
Finally, what factors have been key to Backaldrin’s success in MENA thus far, and what is the company’s vision for its future in these markets?
“backaldrin is known for its high-quality products – and its consistent quality. This is also much valued in the Arab countries, thus our baking ingredients are now in demand all over Jordan. Our products can be found in almost every bakery, in restaurants, at airports and in supermarkets, which of course makes us proud.
“The local staff are most certainly responsible for this success. We do not send employees from Austria to foreign branches, but instead look for suitable personnel in the countries, transferring responsibility to local people. After all, locals are more familiar with regional characteristics and they understand the market better. Our CEO, Harald Deller, also knows the culture in Jordan very well, as he has been Honorary Consul of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan in Upper Austria for almost 10 years.”
Visit backaldrin International The Kornspitz Company at Stand B8-37, Hall 8 at Gulfood 2022 (13–17 February at Dubai World Trade Centre).
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Sandton Convention Centre, South Africa