The Gourmet Nut Company

The Gourmet Nut Company is a specialist coater of gourmet nut products, including macadamias, almonds, cashews, pistachios, hazelnuts and pecans.

Production has increased considerably since the company's humble beginnings in 1998, selling honey macadamia nuts from a single nut cart at the South Melbourne Market. Today, close to 1,000 tonnes per annum of roasted and coated nuts are sold to virtually all major retailers and wholesalers throughout Australia. Products are also exported to companies across Asia Pacific.

“We're in the food business,” says The Gourmet Nut Co.'s managing director, Ray Rust. “Things change, flavours change, and we were looking for a way around having to hold individual film for every single product that we produced. With increasing volumes, we also needed a more efficient process than laboriously hand labelling every pack.”

THE GOURMET NUT COMPANY

INDUSTRY:SNACKFOODS
APPLICATION:PRODUCT ID (FRONT) + NUTRITIONAL PANELS (BACK) ON FLEXIBLE FILM
TECHNOLOGY:THERMAL TRANSFER OVERPRINTER (TTO) IN MASTER/SLAVE CONFIGURATION
PRODUCTS:LINX TT5

BACKGROUND

The Gourmet Nut Company is a specialist coater of several gourmet nut products: macadamias, almonds, cashews, pistachios, hazelnuts and pecans. They coat nuts from 3mm granulated hazelnuts up to whole, large nuts (such as macadamias and pecans).

The company began in 1998 with just honey macadamia nuts being roasted, coated and sold on a single cart at the South Melbourne Market. Today, close to 1,000 tonnes per annum of roasted and coated nuts are sold to virtually all major retailers and wholesalers throughout Australia. Products are also exported across Asia Pacific and New Zealand.

SITUATION

The Gourmet Nut Co.’s dramatic sales growth had vastly outpaced its labelling process.

The company was applying three separate labels by hand: one on the front, two on the back.

They wanted an automated solution to:

  • increase efficiency
  • improve packaging quality, and
  • increase packaging consistency

It also needed to save time and money by removing:

  • manual labour, and
  • the necessity of changing a whole film wheel whenever they wanted to change products on the line.

The specialty nut roaster also wanted to reduce packaging costs. As a small business, too much working capital was tied up thousands of reels of film for individual products across its 12 product lines.

As well, the solution needed to be able to print Chinese characters for export products.

BUSINESS NEEDS

Product quality is paramount for The Gourmet Nut Co.; the product ID, barcode and nutritional panels needed to be clear, scan reliably in customer warehouses, and look professional.

The solution had to be able to code on generic film (to reduce packaging inventory and costs), and also have the capability for new products to be created easily (to trial new flavours, for instance).

PROCESS NEEDS

The Gourmet Nut Co. ideally wanted a solution that could print alphanumeric information and barcode symbology on both sides of a flexible film packet at once.

Ease of use was important — both in general operations and setting up new products.

The company also wanted a simple way to change coding when different products were run down the line (without having to change the whole film wheel).

Reliability was a must.

OUTCOME

The Gourmet Nut Co. is very pleased with the coding solution. It has saved a huge amount of time by removing manual labour, improving efficiency in the process and lifting packaging quality and consistency. Generic film has freed working capital (and physical storage space) from being tied up in film inventory.

The operators find the TT5 Thermal Transfer Printer, very easy to use: simply changing a code in the system has replaced the manual task of changing an entire film wheel whenever they want to change products. The colour touch-screen, with its simple-to-follow instructions, has minimised errors. A bonus has been fewer ribbon changes due to the long standard ribbon (1,000m).

Both generic film and the simple programmability for codes has meant The Gourmet Nut Co. can easily add or trial new products (rather than wait for film for new products to be traditionally printed).

“I felt quite comfortable with Matthews, and it’s good to know that we have not only ended up with quality machines that are absolutely right for our business, we also have knowledgeable people there to help us whenever we need them.”

— Ray Rust, Managing Director, The Gourmet Nut Company