Life is sweet

High quality products, value for money and excellent customer service are the ingredients that, for 95 years, Schokinag has mixed together to make it a hugely successful manufacturer of industrial chocolates

Acost effective, high quality chocolate that is easy to work with and has been enjoyed by customers for decades. Those are the words used by specialist chocolatier stockists Keylink to describe the creations of Schokinag. Based in Mannheim, Germany, Schokinag was established in 1923 and has been manufacturing chocolates ever since. Boasting a strong history as a family-owned business, it is today recognised as one of Europe’s leading suppliers of industrial chocolates. In more recent years, the company was owned by US agribusiness giants ADM and then Cargill, before being acquired in 2016 by investment company Nimbus.

The company manufactures a full range of chocolates and chocolate couvertures, liquid to solid, in various sizes, shapes and packaging types, as well as liquid compounds. One of Schokinag’s core strengths has always been its flexibility, which means that in addition to its standard range of chocolates, it can also develop recipes to meet its customers’ precise specifications.

Partnership approach
In broad terms, its product range can be split into three categories – chips and chunks, liquid products and specialties. Schokinag’s chips have been created to be easy to dose, quick and simple to melt and perfect for exact tempering, while it offers liquid products in batches from 6MT to 24MT. These include chocolates with a cocoa content ranging from 25 per cent up to 85 per cent for dark and milk, and from a minimum of 20 per cent for white, chocolates and couvertures for enrobing, moulding, panning/spinning and topping, for ice cream applications, dark and milk ice cream compounds, and single origin chocolates. It also manufactures chocolates certified by a number of international bodies, such as Kosher Dairy, HALAL, and has its focus on sustainable products like Fairtrade Mass Balance, UTZ Mass Balance and Rainforest Alliance. Lastly, its specialties mix includes chocolate shavings, curls, cigarettes, fanderol, spaghetti, microchips and mixed chips.

Schokinag’s mission statement is to provide its customers with a mutually beneficial long-term partnership, one which offers the flexibility and attention to detail typically provided by an entrepreneurial player, but with the added benefits of being a major industrial player with nearly a century of experience. In order to meet the requirements its customers place upon it the company has a series of ‘promises’ that it works to. This list includes promises to offer a complete product range of solid and liquid chocolates, and to only supply high quality products from its fully certified production facility in compliance with recognised international food safety standards. It also guarantees that it can source competitively in order to offer the fairest market price, that it will always place the customers’ needs first, and that its experienced R&D team will be on hand to identify solutions and create innovative products.

Plans for expansion
The above-mentioned R&D element of the company is led by a highly-experienced team, who possess in-depth knowledge of different food segments and can offer extensive application know-how for all of Schokinag’s products. Working closely and continuously with its customers, the team provides quality, sustainable solutions within a comparatively short response time, and help to create and adapt tailor-made recipes to suit anything from specific cost requirements to general consumer trends. Aside from the innovative products it creates, the company also regularly invites its customers into its R&D facility to jointly use its state-of-the-art pilot plant equipment, modern analytical devices and sensory panel to realise co-innovation projects.

The epicenter of the company’s many different activities and achievements is its Mannheim facility. To date, the facility has provided Schokinag with an annual capacity ranging between 80,000 and 90,000 tonnes, however this is in the process of being expanded, with its owners prepared to invest around ten million euros for this purpose. Most of the investments are currently ongoing. While most of the products that emanate from the factory are sold throughout the European Union, the plans for expansion within the business are expected to create opportunities to pursue other regions, not least of all Great Britain, Eastern Europe, Middle East and the United States.

When we featured Schokinag in the pages of FoodChain, back at the end of 2016, the company was fast approaching 2017 with a revitalised attitude and a refocused desire to achieve its ambitions, and its Managing Director Rolf Eiermann spoke enthusiastically of exciting times 37ahead. With almost two years having passed since, the company has made great strides in expanding its product portfolio, streamlining efficiencies and improving reliability, and as 2019 comes more into focus it is clear that it is on the fast track to delivering the products, service and prices that will make Schokinag its customers’ number one chocolate supplier.