It took a while for Europe to catch up with America’s love affair with pralines, but finally the UK marketplace is reaping the benefits of sweet praline nuts and seeds across multiple sectors, including snacks and ice cream. Still, there is much more potential for innovation according to Jenny Baillie, Business Development Manager of leading European inclusions pioneer Pecan Deluxe Candy (Europe) Ltd.
Despite its recent £3m investment in high tech manufacturing and storage facilities, the company remains true to its roots when it comes to pralines. Nearly 70 years ago Pecan Deluxe was founded in the US, the name derived partially in tribute to the delicious praline pecans that elevated its ice cream way beyond the retail curve at the time. Now, almost seven decades and three international branches later, Pecan Deluxe still manufactures its pralines the traditional way – combining real butter and sugar in copper pans to produce premium quality praline inclusions for confectionery, cereals, beverages, ice cream and other desserts and snacks.
Jenny Baillie explained: “Whilst pralines originated in the southern USA, they have since become an undoubted favourite across multiple sectors in the UK and Europe. The ice cream sector grows year on year, currently generating around £1bn of sales in the UK, and praline pecan consistently appears in the annual list of the top 20 flavours. Similarly, the market for savoury snacks in the UK is the largest in Europe at more than £1.3bn in value, with the highest growth rate of all Western European countries; we can thank praline nuts for at least some of that growth.
“New trends are on the rise: for example, adding different textures and health benefits such as protein and fibre to indulgent foods – and nuts are a great way of achieving this. Our R&D department is constantly looking for new ways to advance the scope of our praline inclusions, creating new flavours and applications such as chocolate, bakery products and snack mixes. Our team is dedicated to finding new ways to apply our inclusions to gain an edge within key sectors, and we’re convinced that pralines have so much more to offer as a premium ingredient bringing a unique combination of flavour, mouthfeel and health benefits to the table.”
Pecan Deluxe manufactures its pralines in a dedicated segregated nut facility, supplying multiple sizes from whole to extra small pieces in either frozen or ambient form. The food tailor works with food producers to develop bespoke flavoured options and other retail solutions.
All Pecan Deluxe products, including traditionally made but innovatively flavoured fudges, moulded chocolate shapes, brownie pieces and praline nuts, are made using natural colours and flavourings in strict allergen controlled, BRC double A grade facilities. The company is constantly innovating to develop new flavours and textures and can create bespoke products tailor-made to customers’ requirements. For more information, visit www.pecandeluxe.com.