GERMANY – Nestlé is moving the production of the popular hard-shelled chocolate candy Lentilky chocolate brand from the Czech Republic to Germany after more than 110 years, due to a change in the recipe and packaging.
The candies have been produced in by candy company Sfinx in Holešov, a town in the Zlín region of Moravia, since 1907. Sfinx has been a subsidiary of Swiss-based food giant Nestlé since 1992 and one of the oldest confectionery factories in the country.
To date, more than half of the Holešov’s plant production consists of jelly products that are sold in the country mainly under the Jojo brand.
The production in Hamburg will start in April. The move was first reported by Czech Radio Radiožurnál and later confirmed by Nestlé Česko spokesman Robert Kičina.
“We want to pack Lentilky in paper packaging, which is again a thing that is technologically demanding. We do not have them in the Czech Republic and they are in Hamburg again.”Vratislav Janda – Director of corporate affairs, Nestlé Česko
According to the sources, the move is due to reducing the sugar in the recipe and shifting to more paper packaging; requirements that can reportedly only be met in Hamburg. The change will also allegedly align the taste of Lentilky with Nestlé’s similar brand Smarties.
“We are unifying the recipe between Lentilky and Smarties, which means that there will be less sugar and more chocolate in Lentilky, which was based on consumer tests,” Vratislav Janda, director of corporate affairs at Nestlé Česko, told Radiožurnál.
“We want to pack Lentilky in paper packaging, which is again a thing that is technologically demanding. We do not have them in the Czech Republic and they are in Hamburg again,” added Janda.
The reason for the move is to align the recipe for Lentilky with the similar Nestlé-owned candy Smarties, which is sold in other countries except for the United States. (In the US, the brand name Smarties is owned by Smarties Candy Company and applies to a sugar-based non-chocolate tablet candy).
The new recipe for Lentilky will have less sugar and more milk and chocolate, and also used certified cocoa. The hard shell will now contain gluten. The new packaging also will not use plastic.
“Harmonization of the recipe with our Smarties brand was decided based on results of consumer tests, which found them equally acceptable,” said Kičina.
According to Expats, moving production will reduce the maintenance costs for the production technologies and better utilize factory capacities in Hamburg, which are sufficient for production and distribution of Smarties and Lentilky to all European Union members.
The Hamburg plant also has the technology to put Lentilky into paper packaging, which will contribute to fulfilling Nestlé’s commitments to reduce plastic waste, Kičina said. Some of the current Lentilky packages, such as the larger tubes, have plastic caps.
Packaging of the best-selling 28 gram paper cartons of Lentilky will continue to take place at the Sfinx factory.
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