Edlund, the food prep equipment brand owned by Ali Group, yesterday unveiled two patent-pending manual slicing machines to UK dealers, with the company’s CEO and president Peter Nordell flying in from the US especially for the launch.
The new innovations, which Edlund claims compare to nothing else in the market in terms of bulk slicing, safety and flexibility, will be distributed by its long-term UK agent Metcalfe.
Nordell said that the products — the Arc manual fruit and vegetable slicer and the Tomato Laser slicer — were already being tested by leading international foodservice chains.
Edlund has been manufacturing light equipment for almost 90 years, but was sold to the Ali Group three years ago in what was one of the Italian group’s rare forays into the food prep and light equipment market.
“The good thing about that is the unlimited resources we have to expand the product line, to expand into new markets, and to develop new product, and that is one of the reasons we are here today, to see some innovative product that we believe is going to replace a lot of the 1950s-style slicing equipment for veg prep,” Nordell told dealers.
He added: “We are also venturing into other products like storage for film and foil. A lot of our business comes from US chains, the big chains, Yum!, The Cheesecake Factory, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell. Some of them may not be over here, some of them certainly you all know very well. So a lot of our new product ideas also come from the chain requirements. We talk to the chains, they tell us what their problems are.”
The Arc features a unique ‘pusher/hopper’ mechanism that means the product doesn’t have to be placed directly on the blades and get anywhere near fingers. The blade cartridge can be safely changed in a matter of seconds depending on which thickness the user wants.
Nordell said that the biggest USP of the device was its versatility. While lots of manual slicers work on hard products such as onions and potatoes but don’t do a great job on soft products such as tomatoes — or vice-versa — the Arc can cope with both due to the blade design and cutting motion.
The Tomato Laser slicer, meanwhile, has been developed to provide an easy, fast and clean way to slice tomatoes. The company said the system was the solution for any operator left under-whelmed by the results they get from using old-fashioned aluminium tomato slicers.
The UK launch of the new slicers is part of a global roll-out programme that remains ongoing, Nordell added.
“We have already introduced it in China and the Asian markets through the Shanghai and Hong Kong shows earlier this year and we will be taking them to Singapore in April next year. They are released fully in the US and we are launching them now in Europe,” he said.