Helsinki / FI. (fg) Finland’s Fazer Group continues to implement its growth strategy by investing in the manufacturing of oat products in Vantaa. The company builds a new bakery production line for portion bread which uses state-of-the-art technology and renews a production line at its chocolate factory to produce oat-based Fazer Oat Choco products. The new production lines will start during 2022.
Fazer’s strategic goal is to become one of the leading manufacturers of plant-based food in northern Europe. This will be accomplished by developing new product categories and expanding existing ones. Fazer focuses on developing sustainable food solutions for the future, and the company invests in growth, innovation and foodtech. Fazer is now starting to build two new production lines for oat product manufacturing in its Vantaa site. The total value of the investments is approximately EUR 8.5 million.
The popularity of oat bread is growing significantly
The popularity of oat bread has grown significantly within the past five years in Finland. The share of oat breads represents already 30 percent of all white bread sold in the Finnish market. The high interest for oats is based on its healthy image and excellent nutritional composition. The importance of healthiness in bread purchasing is increasing.
Fazer strives to meet the growing demand by expanding its production capacity. The company closely examines consumer purchasing behaviour and responds quickly to the changing needs. Fazer believes that the oat trend is here to stay and the number of households consuming oat products will increase in the future.
«We see excellent growth opportunities in oat products because many consumers think that oats have delicious taste and properties that promote well-being. There will be several new oaty variants for our iconic bread classics such as Fazer Puikula, Oululainen Reissumies and Jälkiuunileipä,» says Marko Bergholm, Managing Director of Fazer Bakery Finland.
The new, state-of-the-art portion bread line will directly contribute to the company’s sustainability goals. «We have emphasised environmentally-friendly solutions in our technology choices. With the new production line, the CO2 emissions of Vantaa bakery will be reduced by approximately 8 percent per year,» Bergholm continues.
Fazer Oat Choco was born out of consumer demand
Fazer’s chocolate factory is renewing one production line to produce oat-based Fazer Oat Choco cocoa bars. Fazer Oat Choco products were first launched in the summer of 2020, when Fazer introduced a small batch of plant-based cocoa bars for test sales in the online Fazer Store and Fazer Cafés. The production process developed by Fazer’s chocolate technology experts allows the characteristic taste of oats to complement that of cocoa, producing a mouth-watering taste experience.
«Fazer Oat Choco was born out of consumers’ wish for a plant-based alternative to milk chocolate. Our own online store and Fazer Cafés enable us to have direct contact with consumers, so it was easy to do test sales of the developed cocoa bars in Finland and Sweden last summer. Based on encouraging consumer feedback, we decided to expand production capacity and, as a result, Fazer Oat Choco products will be distributed more widely,» says Markus Hellström, Managing Director of Fazer Confectionery. The changeover of the production line will be complete by the end of 2021 and Fazer Oat Choco products are expected to arrive in stores in late spring 2022.
Fazer is a unique pioneer in oat products
Last year, Fazer announced significant investments to double the capacity of its oat mills in Finland and Sweden. These additional investments in oat-based production further strengthen Fazer’s position as the leading producer of oat products in the Nordic countries.
World-class know-how and modern production plants enable the production of diverse oat products. Fazer’s wide selection in Finland already includes almost 200 oat-containing products. Product development is an ongoing process that Fazer has a passion for. The company makes a wide variety of oat products, such as porridge oats, bread, muesli, oat oil, snack bars, biscuits, beverages and other goodies.
Fazer uses only Finnish oats and utilises all parts of the oats in its production. Fazer’s xylitol factory which will open in Lahti in the summer of 2021 is an excellent example of circular economy: Fazer’s xylitol is made from oat hulls, a side stream of the oat milling process.