Supermarket Perimeter - November 2020 - 57

INSIDER
PACKAGING

Single-serve

EQUIPMENT

Ovens

SANDWICHES
by Andy Nelson

UNIFILLER

COVID HAS CREATED A HOST
OF PROBLEMS for companies
and people throughout the food
industry. But the pandemic has
also led to some opportunities,
including for commissaries,
central kitchens and other offsite
facilities that supply prepared and
other foods to retail grocers.
"There have been niche
opportunities for commissaries
that have the capacity to shift and
adapt to the new business challenges," said Miguel Lutz, territory
sales manager for Delta, B.C.based Unifiller Systems Inc. "Many
commissary kitchens have the
expertise, sanitary requirements,
certifications, and sometimes the
level of automation required to
produce high quality products
that are sought to by retailers."
Restaurants and other
traditional lunch options are
limited due to lockdown closures,
and more people are relying
less on dine-in and more on
prepared foods.

As a result, Lutz said, graband-go has become one of the
fastest growing industry segments, and retailers are looking
to cope with the added volume.
"Off-site facilities that have the
capacity to shift production to
take on these new opportunities
are taking advantage.
Additionally, some of the
larger companies have dropped
out of certain markets due to
production constraints to focus
on their core business."
Commissaries love Unifiller's
solutions to their sandwich
production problems because
of their versatility, said
Terry Neithercut, business
development manager.
"Sandwiches have a short
shelf date, so while these
commissaries make a lot of
sandwiches, there is a lot of
switch-over," he said. "Unifiller
equipment is the perfect fit. Not
only is our equipment easy to
sanitize and switch over, they can

easily be set up to portion other
items such as flowable salads
(macaroni, potato), dressings,
dips, soup, etc."
Unifiller is seeing large
producers dropping out of
segments where there is steady
demand (peanut butter and jelly
sandwiches, e.g.), leaving a void
that others are looking to fill.
Companies that can rapidly
start producing, he said, will
take some of those contracts.
Typically, that kind of demand is
met by companies that have or
are willing to invest in equipment
to automate production.

supermarketperimeter.com

That's where Unifiller comes
in. For sandwich production, one
great solution, Lutz said, is the
Unifiller Pro 1000 machine, either
pneumatic or servo, for spreading
products onto sliced bread or
open rolls.
The process works directly
over a conveyor belt, where
a photosensor sees the slices
moving on the belt and then
automatically triggers deposits.
When it comes to nozzles,
Unifiller nozzles can spread
salads (tuna, egg or chicken),
spray mustard or mayo, and
deposit peanut butter or jelly.

NOVEMBER 2020 - 57


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Supermarket Perimeter - November 2020

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