Julie Pobel, marketing and innovation director for the company, told ConfectioneryNews that praline pastes often separate into an oily top layer and a solidified cake-like bottom layer of fruit and nuts.
She said the firm's new powder praline - for which it won a new product award at the industry event Europain this week - would save chocolate makers the chore of remixing the praline before use or else prevent mixture waste if chocolate makers were to use just the top oily layer.
She said this separation was actually a sign of quality, but that it could pose complications for the manufacturers. Aside from cutting this waste the firm said the powder form provided a more airy, fluffy texture than praline pastes since it was added at the end of the process.
Pobel said if you were to compare the same recipe using praline paste or powder, the paste would cost around 5-10% more per kilo. However, she added this changed depending on the range of paste used.
The company sources its almonds from Spain and its hazelnuts from Italy. According to Mintec data, Spain is by far the largest producer of shelled almonds in Europe, which overall accounts for 10% of the world's supply. Meanwhile the US accounts for 83%, with 80% of that global supply coming from California.
Pobel said the company preferred to import its almonds from Spain because of a relationship of trust built up over 50 years, saying Californian almonds or others nuts from markets like Turkey were "less interesting" for the company.
"For us the quality of that kind of product is better in smaller plantations," Pobel said. "It seems we have the same quality goals. In California it is more practical - they talk about things like storage. It's less about taste profile and quality."
Application and markets
Pobel said that outside of chocolate the powder could be used to decorate croissants for which it would caramelize and give a nutty taste when baked. She also said that the product could be used in biscuits, whipped cream and even some savory foods.
Weiss currently sells directly to manufacturers in France, with this remaining the number one market for the firm. However she said it had distributors globally in markets like Japan, United Emirates, Spain, the UK and Italy. She said that Japan was set to be the second focus market for the recently launched powder while the company hoped the Europain award would attract further international attention.