The Lentilka brand is now manufactured by the Sphinx factory in Holešov. “From April 2021, a factory in Hamburg will take over the production of smarties. The operators who are now involved in the production of smarties will be moved to other production lines and workshops in the Sfinx plant, “said Kičina.
According to him, there were two reasons for moving the company to Germany. “The first is the harmonization of the recipe with our Smarties brand, which we decided on based on the results of preferential tests among consumers,” said a Nestlé spokesman.
“In the test, when we gave people to taste both variants of the composition, the original and the new, we found that they both taste good and are equally acceptable to them,” he added. According to him, the product will contain less sugar and more milk and chocolate. The use of certified cocoa is also planned.
According to Nestlé Česko, another reason for moving is the reduction of costs for the maintenance of production technologies and better utilization of capacities at the factory in Hamburg, which is sufficient for the production and distribution of the product to all countries of the European Union. “In addition, the plant has the technology of packaging Lentilek in paper packaging and will contribute to the fulfillment of Nestlé’s commitments regarding the reduction of plastic waste without major investments,” said Kičina.
At the same time, lentils are now packed in paper packaging. However, according to Kičina, some have plastic parts. As an example, he gave a package of Lentilek weighing 140 grams in a tube. “In our Czech plant, unlike the German plant, we do not have the technology that would allow us to replace them with paper ones,” said Kičina. According to him, the packaging of the best-selling 28-gram format of lentils in paper will remain in the Sphinx.
Brothers Philipp and Rudolf Kneisl began making lentils in Holešov in 1907. The name chocolate candies comes from the Latin word for lentils. The product was patented by the brothers. Thanks to them, the Sfinx factory was established in the town, which still produces smarties.
At the end of last year, about 400 people worked in the Holešov plant. More than half of its production consists of jelly products, which are sold on the domestic market mainly under the Jojo brand. The company also produces hard candies Bon Pari or Hašlerky and also dragees, which include the brands Lentilky and Smarties.
Chocolate Wednesdays for smarties are imported from Nestlé’s second confectionery plant in the Czech Republic, Olomouc’s Zory. About 1.6 million Lentils are produced in the Sphinx in one shift. Sphinx also produces marshmallows and semi-finished products for caramels.
The history of confectionery production in Holešov dates back to 1863. It then moved to the current factory on Palackého Street in 1910. Sphinx is thus one of the oldest confectionery factories in the Czech Republic. Sfinx has been a part of Nestlé since 1992. The year before, it produced almost 15,900 tons of confectionery.
The profit of the Czech branch of the world‘s leading confectionery manufacturer Nestlé in 2018 rose by 1.6 percent year on year to 578 million crowns. Revenues fell by 200 million crowns to 10.5 billion. The company has not yet published its financial results for last year.