Bespoke candy cane machine will aid international sales

By Lancashire Business View

09 Oct 2018

A new machine capable of producing 300,000 candy canes per day has begun production in Blackpool, giving local firms the chance to tap into a £4bn market.

The bespoke equipment is a joint investment between  Coronation Candy, Blackpool’s largest rock making factory, and Loynds, worldwide supplier of candy, chocolate and wrapping machinery.

Design and development was undertaken by Loynds’ in-house research and development team and engineered and manufactured in Blackpool, and took three years to complete.

The production of candy canes, more than often produced in North South America and China, is a labour intensive skill and can take an army of people to ensure the perfect bend in the candy cane.

The new machine creates the bend in the candy through a precision, mechanical engineering process of heating and blast chilling, allowing the candy cane to be produced in large quantities with just four to five operators on the production line.

There are other automated machines on the market but they are super high production and the manufacturers using the high output equipment currently have a monopoly on the supply. Coronation Candy  has created four new jobs in the last few months and plans to take on another 20 by the end of 2019.

Colin Levene, finance and strategy director at Coronation Candy, said: “The launch of the new machine comes at a significant time of growth for us a company, as we continue to expand our lines throughout the international gifting and confectionery markets.

"We had a record month last year and we expect this to increase in line with the new product outputs and diversity of new lines and flavours.”

He added: “Without the machine, we simply couldn’t justify the levels of man power needed to create the candy cane by hand. We are extremely excited about the capabilities the new machine brings and the international trade opportunities that it opens up to us.”

Coronation Candy currently exports its handmade confectionery worldwide to clients such as Harrods, Eiffel Tower, Alton Towers and operates the only production line in Europe that produces bespoke embossed lollies. It has also been working with University of Central Lancashire on new research and product development, looking at sugar substitution and the inclusion of natural ingredients such as honey.

Blackpool Unlimited, Blackpool Council’s business team, played a significant role in helping Coronation Candy, which is based on Blackpool Airport Enterprise Zone, with its expansion plans by helping to develop a strategic business plan, accessing finance streams and jobs creation.

The company has also launched a young apprenticeship scheme for sugar boilers, an artisan skill that has been slowly dying out and an expertise that the company want to safeguard for future generations.

Loynds, based at Blackpool and Fylde Business Park employs 19 and supplies confectionery machinery to more than 100 countries worldwide and also has expansion plans with the manufacture of more specialist machinery, increase in management capacity and further investment in skills, training and technology. Loynds will continue to work with Coronation Candy on another bespoke new machine, a spiral lolly maker that is due to launch summer 2019.

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