If you are a lover of chocolate and all things sweet, then you must know Robern Menz. It is a family-owned business already in its fourth generation based in Adelaide.
It started way back in 1908, basically way before Facebook and Justin Bieber. It started in retail, moved into fruit processing in 1926 and eventually confectionery processing in the 1970s. And today, it stands proudly as South Australia’s largest confectionery manufacturer.
Don’t let its 104 years of age fool you though; Robern Menz is still a very versatile player in the industry, and even produces high-quality confections for other international brand names besides the Robern Menz name. CEO Phil Sims says these companies have chosen to focus on their strong points, and leave production to more capable companies like Robern Menz.
“They realise that some other organisations have specific specialised skills, so they look to outsource or set up a manufacturing supply arrangement, and that’s basically where the opportunities for us have come into play,” Sims said.
“We have the quality systems, processes and practices that suit their needs,” Sims says of co-manufacturing. “That’s a very important part of food production in this day and age; food safety capability and capacity and those sorts of things.”
Robern Menz’s quality systems have been continuously updated throughout the company’s lifetime.
As the recipient of an Australian government grant, the company has invested the money wisely. To allow the company to continue to compete new technologies were needed. The government grant was used to replace 80 old refrigerant units with a hi-tech glycol refrigeration system at their factory. Cool huh? (Literally and, otherwise.)
Thanks to thorough research and a strong will to experiment, the company even has new exciting products for all of you who have a sweet tooth, using classic confectionery methods for their jelly-based sweets and chocolate products.
“One of the most recent products is a jelly-based centre, which is panned in chocolate, so it would be either a pectin- based gelatin centre or jelly-based centre, about thimble sized,” Sims said. “That then gets panned in chocolate. We’re certainly skilled with fruit-based centres, like apricot, that are panned in chocolate. Certainly we’re doing a lot in the way of honeycomb, which is an aerated confection that then gets enrobed in chocolate.”
While some challenges exist in the family-owned business realm, Robern Menz has slowly and smartly made its path and cornered the market for the past 100+ years. The fourth-generation owners won’t likely be the last to continue the Robern Menz tradition for quality treats in the years to come.
Research, technology and innovation with new flavours – this is one Australia company batting above it’s weight.