Aiming high to preserve confectionery making traditions
This week, one of our editorial board members, Andy Baxendale, confirmed plans for creating a mobile confectionery production academy, for which he deserves particular credit.
Having first mentioned the prospect of an educational facility for honing future generations of confectioners some while ago to our publication, he is striking out on his own in what will surely prove a highly memorable venture for the man known as ‘The Sweet Consultant’ (pictured teaching fudge making in Suadi Arabia.
With well over two decades of industry experience with leading British confectionery companies, he is well placed to pass on skills to the next generation. Indeed, he says that’s the main motivation for his educational mission, to ensure the UK continues its longstanding artisan production traditions.
As with any new enterprise, the new academy will undoubtedly face its initial hurdles to overcome, it seems that with Britain maintaining its place as one of key European markets for confectionery, the demand for producing an ever-more advanced range of confectionery is seemingly out there.
Though, as we have reported, the government is seeking to clamp down on sugar consumption across the wider food market, such measures do not appear to have dampened the British love for confectionery. Clearly, responsible snacking is at the forefront of most confectionery companies’ marketing campaigns, so devising new ranges over the next few years will doubtless offer its fair share of challenges.
But, as Baxendale has previously pointed out, confectionery has, and always should be seen as an occasional treat, and nothing more. As he recently noted, manufacturers’ efforts so far to replicate the sugar with alternative sweeteners have not met with particular success. But with the likes of Cadbury producing a 30% sugar reduced Dairy Milk Bar, and emergence of other products such as Wowsome bars, and protein-enhanced Mars bars, consumers are being offered a broader array of alternative options.
However, must surely be room for retaining a good number of Britain’s traditional confectionery offerings that have become famous around the world over the past decades and will hopefully continue with new courses dedicated to preserve the industry’s future.