Customers who can’t get enough of Gardenia’s loaf breads can look forward to more products from leading bread manufacturer Gardenia Bakeries Philippines, which formally opened its sixth plant in Biñan, Laguna. The new P1-billion facility can produce up to 6,000 loaves per hour or a total of 150,000 loaves per day, equivalent to a 50 percent increase on its current production capacity.
The new plant located at Laguna International Industrial Park in Biñan, Laguna features additional robotics and the latest available technology in modern baking which came from the best baking suppliers from all over the world such as Germany, the Netherlands, United States and Japan. Breads from Gardenia are “completely untouched by human hands,” with the whole plant computer-controlled starting from ingredient handling and makeup systems, the use of robotics in handling baking pans and a unique technology in the de-panning process which promises to be gentler to the bread.
According to Gardenia Philippines’ president and manager Simplicio Umali, they applied the best technologies on the new production line. “There are improved systems and technologies in the makeup, proofing and automated handling process that will help produce high quality breads,” Umali said, explaining that the slicers are more accurate. The facilities also include a tumbler where all four sides of the loaf are checked, while a tornado cleaner ensures that all baking pans are very clean and free of crumbs.
Environment-friendly liquefied petroleum gas will continue to be used by the new oven baking system, which will eventually take in compressed natural gas once it is made available in the industrial market.
In the Philippines, the total value of the bread market is estimated at P18 billion. The market is divided into the packaged and unpackaged categories, with the packaged, branded segment accounting for P9 billion (with Gardenia having 50 percent market share), while the unpackaged bread segment has an estimate of P9 billion.
Umali also noted that despite the continuous growth of our bread industry, the Philippines has still a much lower bread consumption compared to neighboring countries like Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand. The company however is optimistic of increased bread consumption via intensified distribution efforts in the countryside. This will be augmented by the planned saturation of convenience stores and sari-sari stores in urban centers, with the new plant to serve consumers in Luzon from Cagayan Valley to Sorsogon.