Mondelēz International has opened a new $13 million state-of-the-art Schubert automated packaging line at its Gourmet Food manufacturing facility at Dandenong, Victoria. The fitout increases production of Olina’s Bakehouse Artisan crackers range by 35 per cent.
Mondelēz acquired the business in 2021 from Gourmet Food Holdings, which had disrupted the cracker market with its premium-style cracker brands Olina’s Bakehouse, OB Finest, and Crispic. Gourmet Food Holdings built the 12,500 square metre factory for $10 million in 2019. At the time the company said that once fully operational, it would produce 250,000 crackers an hour. The plant had eight production lines.
Since acquiring the company, Mondelēz has invested $23 million in the Dandenong plant, including the site using 100 per cent renewable energy after being linked to Mondelēz’s Victorian renewable power purchase agreement with Pacific Blue Retail (formerly Tango Energy).
That switch will reduce the facility’s carbon footprint by 44 per cent against a 2023 baseline. Mondelēz’s Ringwood and Scoresby factories are already powered by renewables.
Gourmet Food MD Bevan Tippett said an extension was added to house the new automated packaging line, which has allowed the company to shift from an extensive manual operation to a no-touch automated solution.
“The investment will increase the production of our prominent Olina’s Artisan range by a third, as we meet growing local and export demand,” Tippett said.
The Olina’s range is one of the biggest growth drivers for Gourmet Food.
Mondelēz worked with two main suppliers, Schubert from Germany and Cavanna from Italy, with Schubert being the key integrator.
Mondelēz has installed Schubert pick-and-place machines to pick up each individual cracker and place it into trays, which then moves into the fully integrated flow-wrapper before the cartoner and case packer.
“This is a true end-to-end ‘no touch’ solution,” Tippett said. “Already 20 per cent of our volumes are exported overseas, and this investment will equip us to explore and capture opportunities to showcase our Australian-made products to the rest of the world.”