R&R is the world’s third largest ice cream manufacturer, with a strong branded ice cream portfolio, as well as a broad range of private label products. The portfolio covers all possible ice cream formats, from sticks, cones and sandwiches to various tubs and other special ice cream offers. In Germany, R&R’s production site is situated in Osnabrück, 130 km west of Hannover. In high season, up to 800 people work at the site.
To make the ice creams extra delicious, many of them are topped with sauces of strawberry, caramel, chocolate or other appetising flavours. The ice cream dairy used to buy all of its topping sauces from suppliers. The total need amounts to more than two million kilos per year. But the company faced several challenges including right product viscosities, long lead times and a slow process when developing new recipes or adjusting old ones. Also, the company looked for ways to cut costs to stay competitive in the tough ice cream business. It asked two of its equipment suppliers, one of them being Tetra Pak, for a solution. Tetra Pak suggested a complete saucemaking line with a Tetra Pak® High Shear Mixer for batch sizes of two tonnes and a container filling system, but also a pilot line featuring a small mixer for 80 kg batches.
“We could test all these things for one year, and buy them if we liked them or give them back if we were not satisfied,” says Achim Wintels, production manager R&R Ice Cream. “Producing our own sauces is new to us, so we were not sure that the process would go well. So the suggestion from Tetra Pak was the low-risk solution we were after,” adds Frank Foerster, factory director R&R Ice Cream.
The large mixer is equipped with two agitators for better mixing, and recipe handling is fully automatic. The small mixer is used for test runs and for dissolving pectin to reduce mixing time with the large mixer. The sauce line is used in three shifts per day, and runs six or seven days a week.