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“To promote healthy snacking in Belgium”

In Belgium, healthy eating is on a downward trend. To reverse this, brothers Frank and Francis Sioen launched Sioen Fresh Foods in late 2022. The company sees snack trays as a key way to stop this trend. They are using a line from the Dutch company Het Packhuys to supply them to Belgian supermarkets. “Het Packhuys does not see startups as a risk, but as an opportunity. This is crucial,” Frank begins.

The story began when he and his brother decided to start processing the vegetables they grow. “Processed vegetables divert people’s attention from, for example, chips to the occasional radish or carrot. This is already much more established in the Netherlands. In Belgium, however, and even more so, in France, these products are very scarce. The big question was how to do it.”

The brothers ended up in Het Packhuys for their packaging machine. “They have a lot of experience and are familiar with this area. Also, they are open to startups. We talked to them.” Jan Molenaar of the Packhuys adds: “We were immediately intrigued by Frank’s story.”

“We supply the full 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 in terms of weighing, conveyors and packaging.”

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The result? A line of Eclipse SL4 fully automatic packaging automation machines for top sealing snack trays filled with various mixed vegetables from Sioen Fresh Foods. “We suggested a semi-automated machine, but in the end we decided together for full automation. In front of the top sealing machine is an automatic feeding system with five coupled weighing tables,” explains Jan.

“Each one has a built-in TopControl scale, so each component is accurately weighed and added to the snack trays. The trays are therefore brought to the correct total weight and then sealed with the sealing machine superior PA Eclipse SL4, with integrated sheet printer. The line has a capacity of 60 packages per minute, which allows for increased Sioen space in the future.”

“We are familiar with this concept, but us and Sioen had to find the best solution for them. We worked well together, so we were able to get down to work straight away. We made drawings and brainstormed , coming to the conclusion that we had to make an easy-to-use machine. It’s great that we can help a good start-up in this way,” says Jan.

Sioen Fresh Foods, too, has only good things to say about the partnership 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 very close together,” adds Frank.

“The short travel time between them allowed for a quick turnaround, although their remote service is also good. Also, The Packhuys were very accommodating. For example, we had several last-minute changes, but thank you to our good cooperation, even this never caused any real problems. This resulted in a fantastic result,” he concludes.

There is an in-depth article on Sioen Fresh Foods in the January edition of Primeur. Want to read this and other articles? Consider subscribing to Primeur.

For more information:
Frank Sion
Fresh food from Sioen
Calle Slyps 12A
8880, Ledegem, BE
Tel: +32 (0) 471 921 178
Email: [email protected]
Website: www.sioenfreshfoods.com

John Miller
The Packhouse
19 Vang
4661 TX, Halsteren, NL
Tel: +31 (0) 166 700 215
Email: [email protected]
Website: www.het-packhuys.com