By Ian Williams
South Australian confectionery and fruit-snack specialist Robern Menz is targeting new customers by removing gluten from the entire product range produced and packaged at its Glynde factory.
In a process that’s taken years to plan and implement, more than 150 Menz and Robern products made at the Glynde factory in Adelaide can now be labelled 100 per cent gluten-free.
The move is expected to further boost the company’s growing exports and tourism market at its FruChocs Shops in Adelaide, McLaren Vale and Hahndorf.
CEO Phil Sims says the family business decided to go gluten-free following increased demand from customers.
“Of course, not all our products contain gluten but to achieve gluten-free status for those that did has required some significant recipe and ingredient changes and repeated testing across the entire factory,” he says.
“It’s been a lot of work over the years and we’re now looking forward to some strong growth as a result.”
The good news for fans of Robern Menz sweet treats is that they still taste the same.
“All the sensory evaluation has been done to ensure that the recipe changes make no difference at all to the actual taste,” says Phil.
Robern Menz products have been a favourite of South Australians since Johan and Magdalena Menz opened their grocery and bakery business in Wakefield Street in 1850.
Today the company employs about 80 people and has a growing export market in the US, Japan, China and several South East Asian countries.
Robern Menz is still making Crown Mints, which were first produced in 1892, while its other biggest sellers include Choc Honeycomb and RaspberryChocs.
And, according to Phil, it’s going to be a big year for another iconic favourite, FruChocs.
“We’ve got some exciting things coming up with the relaunch of FruChocs this year which will be happening just prior to winter,” he says.