Equipment Snapshot: MECATHERM has unveiled The Baguette Factory, a simple and profitable turnkey solution aimed at African clients looking to move into industrial baguette production.

MECATHERM handles many projects around the world, particularly in Africa, where many of the population (in western, central, southern and some eastern areas of Africa) consume crusty bread such as baguettes. This market, with its primarily traditional production methods, offers attractive opportunities for investors, yet it also has its own idiosyncrasies. MECATHERM has been able to gain an understanding of these and incorporate this awareness into its new range, the Baguette Factory, which is specifically aimed at this market.

The Baguette Factory is a brand-new, comprehensive range which has no equivalent on the market. It is a turnkey solution consisting of:

  • A 100% automated production line, developed and manufactured by MECATHERM, with various features (boiler, compressed air production, water cooler, etc.), allowing a small 3-person team to achieve a production rate upwards of 4,000 fresh baked baguettes per hour
  • Project management with a dedicated team (study phase, implementation, after-care, etc.)
  • Installation and start-up of the production line managed by MECATHERM technicians
  • Training and assistance provided by MECATHERM bakery technicians.

Additional services are also available to ensure each project is a success, ranging from support during the feasibility study phase and help with recruiting factory managers capable of handling these types of projects, through to assistance in sourcing finance, plus a multitude of after-sales services.

The Baguette Factory is supported by a network of reliable, well-respected partners such as the French public investment bank BPI France which helps provide finance solutions. With the MECATHERM range, investors can be sure to see a return on investment in 3 to 5 years, even taking into account the limitations and specific economic factors of the region.

This unique global approach allows investors to move into the industrial bakery sector, regardless of their level of familiarity with the industry or with managing large-scale projects.The Baguette Factory is aimed not only at investors seeking a quick return on investment but also at manufacturers looking to diversify their activities, millers who would like to invest in the processing of their flour, and bakery professionals who already have several sales outlets and wish to boost their capacity.This is a solution that will enable them to centralize their production so that they can more effectively tackle the shortage of skilled labor and control the quality and uniformity of day-to-day bread production.

"The industrialization of the breadmaking process makes it possible to achieve high production volumes, optimal hygiene conditions in production, and finished products of uniform quality. However, experience has proved that simply supplying a ready-to-use production line is not always enough to guarantee a project's success. This is why, through working closely with specialist partners and local representatives, we have developed a turnkey solution to support our clients during every stage of their projects and to ensure they can easily overcome any obstacles they may encounter along the way," explains MECATHERM's sales director for Africa, Jean-Yves Bruckert.

"Developing the African market and providing on-site support for our clients are among our key priorities. The Baguette Factory embodies our vision for the industry and our expertise in the African market. An initial project is currently approaching completion. The factory is scheduled to open in the spring," concludes MECATHERM's CEO, Olivier Sergent.