UK confectionery expert Andy Baxendale has been recruited to help develop new recipes and flavours to feed Sweden’s love affair with liquorice.
Known throughout the industry as The Sweet Consultant, Andy has been working with the Haupt Lakrits company, based just outside Stockholm, advising on products such as chocolate-coated liquorice and salty liquorice.
Sweden and other Nordic countries consume more liquorice per head of population than anywhere else in the world. It is thought that the popularity of salty flavours stems from the fact that, traditionally, people had to rely on salted meats and fish to last through the long winters.
As well as helping to regulate the immune system, liquorice also gives an adrenaline boast, which can improve people’s spirits during the long winters and combat SAD (seasonal affected disorder).
The country even has its own national liquorice festival – Lakritsfestival – held in Stockholm each year.
Wigan-based Andy travelled out to Sweden earlier this month and is due to return in a few weeks. He said: “Swedes love liquorice, as they love candy and, along with other Scandanivians, there is no group of people more obsessed by it. Sweet and salty flavours are part of Swedish candy culture.
“It is not just something enjoyed by children. The high quality way it is presented and the way it is consumed as a snack in cafes and bars means it is very much something enjoyed by adults too.
“It is great to be a part of the development of the next range of products for Haupt Lakrits, to help them take liquorice to the next level.”
Andy Baxendale has 24 years’ experience in the confectionery business and a Master of Science (MSc) in Advanced Food Manufacture.
The former product development manager for Chewits a respected national consultant in every aspect of confectionery production.
He has extensive knowledge of regulation and legislation in the industry, advising companies on everything from recipes to staff training and enhanced production techniques.
Recently he has been one of the stars of the hit BBC 2 confectionery show The Sweet Makers.
He is currently working to set up a National Academy of sweets to teach a new generation the art of confectionery production and development.
Photo (left-right) shows Christian Haupt of Haupt Lakrits and Andy Baxendale and a selection of chocolate covered liquorice balls.