The world’s first 3D gummy printer became a consumer reality this week with the launch of a new retail concept in confectionery – the Magic Candy Factory.
Birmingham-headquatered Katjes Fassin UK Ltd showcased the innovation in confectionery production, which will be available for UK consumers from early 2016.
The European confectionery giant has beaten competitors to create the first and fastest 3D food printer to reach consumer retail.
It takes the Magic Candy Factory about five minutes to print a sweet weighing between 15 and 20 grams. Prototypes in other sectors can take almost an hour to do the same. Furthermore, the Magic Candy Factory provides customers with a unique experience. The belief of the brand is that innovation is magical, and with the Magic Candy Factory everyone can conjure their own gummy confectionery in a few steps.
German customers were able to trial it for themselves and plans are already in place for the Magic Candy Factory to be open to UK consumers through online, retail and leisure outlets by early 2016.
UK consumers will be able to customise their own confectionery. Shapes include unusual designs, such as frogs or octopuses or more classic shapes, such as hearts. Currently, there are 20 different designs with different choices of colour, flavour combinations and finishings including sweet, glitter or sour.
In addition, customers will be able to print personalised greetings on gummy cards to create unique gifts.All Magic Candy Factory products are vegan, gluten-free and dairy-free. They are made without gelatine and only use natural fruit and vegetable extracts to create sweets as natural as they are delicious.
The technology is based on fused deposition modelling and uses a special blend of natural ingredients, which are heated and then extruded to create a variety of complex shapes and unique combinations. The shapes have been developed using 3D modelling software and specially created ‘g-codes’ that tell the printer where to deposit the materials, and at what speed and frequency.
Eight different colours and matching flavours, from lemon to blackcurrant, were developed in the Katjes R&D lab and can be used either alone or in a combination rainbow option. For the future, a variety of different colours and flavours are planned that will also be available as seasonal exclusives, and could include options for weddings, Wimbledon or Christmas.
Managing director Katjes Fassin UK, Melissa Snover, said: “The Magic Candy Factory allows consumers to create truly delicious, custom sweets that are also completely natural, vegan and allergen-free – a first for the world market.
“In addition, the benefit of the experience in store for the whole family is that children and adults can learn about the technology of 3D printing and ingredients in food. Other confectioners haven’t been able to bring anything like this to market, but we’ve spent many months developing this technology to be fast, educational and fun. We’ll be rolling the Magic Candy Factory out across the UK from early next year.”
Katjes believes that the market for personalisation and experience-based creation has huge potential. Bastian Fassin, managing director Katjes Fassin GmbH & Co. KG and director Katjes Fassin UK Ltd. said: “We always strive to make sweets that will make our customers smile. Now, we have given them the power and the wonderful opportunity to make a fruit gummy which is special and unique for them.”