Business Innovators: Zehnder Gluten Free
Zehnder Gluten Free, a processor of gluten free baked foods based in Maleny, Queensland, has discovered the way to eliminate a number of processing steps and has developed new techniques in its bread production. The innovations have led to major time and cost savings with an emphasis on higher quality and food safe processing.
Zehnder has also changed the way products are made and now uses the latest technical knowledge in its production to deliver longer shelf life, reduced energy costs and shorter baking times—in some cases up to 30 per cent. Using these innovations, Zehnder now has a range of gluten free breads, frozen desserts, cookies, cakes, pasta and pizza dough. Zehnder Gluten free products are found in supermarkets, health food shops, cafes, hotels, hospitals, airlines and many other food outlets in the Australian domestic market and now some international markets.
PUTTING CONSUMERS FIRST
The family-owned business, led by Swiss-born Josef Zehnder, currently plans to supplement its existing range by releasing more new gluten free products to expand its reach in the gluten free market. Josef says that coeliacs—people with gluten intolerance—are willing to try new products and 80 to 90 per cent are usually converted to Zehnder’s superior products.
However, the common complaint amongst consumers is that gluten free bread is not as flavorful or even comparable to normal, wheat-based products. Zehnder’s innovative techniques have enabled it to develop a gluten free bread that is appetizing, nutritious and high-quality—it can even be bent around a sausage without breakage, which is a major achievement in this area. Zehnder’s entire line of products is now on par with high quality wheat-based products. Consumers say that they can’t even taste the difference!
ADVANCING THE GLUTEN FREE MARKET
Zehnder Gluten Free has just opened a factory in Switzerland in 2011 to supply European markets, and plans are well underway for a factory in the North American market for 2012.
Zehnder Gluten Free’s aim is to become a leader on an international basis in its gluten free segment and to continue to evolve its innovation and processing technologies as well as formulations to ensure its brand continues to be known as the best gluten free products on the market—something many consumers believe Zehnder has long achieved.