Dutch company installs packaging line at Belgian startup: "To encourage healthy snacking in Belgium"

In Belgium, healthy eating is on a downward trend. To reverse that, brothers Frank and Francis Sioen launched Sioen Fresh Foods in late 2022. The company sees snack trays as a key way to halt this trend. They're using a Dutch company Het Packhuys line to supply these to Belgian supermarkets. "Het Packhuys doesn't consider startups a risk, but an opportunity. That's crucial," begins Frank.

The tale began when he and his brother decided to begin processing the vegetables they cultivate. "Processed vegetables divert people's attention away from, say, fries, to occasionally opting for radishes or carrots. That's already much more established in the Netherlands. In Belgium, however, and even more so, in France, these products are in very short supply. The big question was how to go about it."

The brothers ended up at Het Packhuys for its packaging machine. "They're very experienced and are familiar with this area. Plus, they're open to startups. We got talking to them." The Packhuys' Jan Molenaar adds: "We were immediately intrigued by Frank's story."

"We supply the complete range from smaller machines to fully automatic lines, so we can always find a solution, even for a startup like Sioen Fresh Foods. They visited our showroom, where we showed them all the possibilities regarding weighing, conveyors, and packaging."

The result? A fully automatic Packaging Automation Eclipse SL4 machine line for top sealing snack trays filled with Sioen Fresh Foods' various mixed vegetables. "We suggested a semi-automated machine, but, in the end, we jointly decided on full automation. In front of the top sealing machine is an automatic feeding system with five weighing tables attached," Jan explains.

"Each has an integrated TopControl scale, so each component is accurately weighed and added to the snack trays. The trays are, thus, brought to the correct total weight, and then topsealed by the PA Eclipse SL4 topseal machine, with integrated foil printer. The line has a capacity of 60 packs per minute, allowing Sioen room to scale up in the future."

"We're familiar with this concept, but we and Sioen had to find the best solution for them. We worked well together, so we could get to work immediately. We made drawings and brainstormed, concluding that we had to realize an easy-to-use machine. It's great that we could help a nice start up in this way," says Jan.

Sioen Fresh Foods, too, has only good things to say about collaborating with Het Packhuys, and their service. "As soon as something went wrong, they tried to find a solution as quickly as possible. Our companies are close together," adds Frank.

"The short traveling time between them allowed for rapid switching, though their remote service is also good. Also, The Packhuys was very tolerant. For example, we had several last-minute changes, but, thanks to our good cooperation, even that never led to any genuine problems. That resulted in a fantastic outcome," he concludes.

There is an in depth article about Sioen Fresh Foods in the January edition of Primeur. Do you want to read this and other articles? Please consider subscribing to Primeur. 

For more information:
Frank Sioen
Sioen Fresh Foods
12A Slyps Street
8880, Ledegem, BE
Tel: +32 (0) 471 921 178
Email: frank.sioen@outlook.com 
Website: www.sioenfreshfoods.com 

Jan Molenaar
Het Packhuys
19 Vang
4661 TX, Halsteren, NL  
Tel: +31 (0) 166 700 215
Email: info@het-packhuys.com 
Website: www.het-packhuys.com 

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