In celebrating the art of pastry and baking for generations, Renshaw has over 100 years experience in baking and cake decorating. Total Food sat down with US Sales Manager, Larry Italiano to discuss the companies newest innovations.
With expertise in manufacture, product innovation and inspiration Renshaw currently supplies specialist sugar craft shops, bakery and general wholesalers as well as major grocery retailers in the UK. Renshaw is now rolling out their new line of Ready to Roll Fondant and Gum Paste specifically formulated for the US market in the New York Tristate. Pastry chefs, bakers and foodservice operators will now have the perfect medium for decorating their cakes and other creative baking offerings. We sat down with Renshaw’s U.S. Sales Manager, Larry Italiano, to discuss the company’s rollout in the New York Tristate and what it means for your foodservice operation.
Give us a little history about Renshaw?
Renshaw is a British food manufacturing company established in 1898 that prides itself on having a predominantly local workforce. It is also proud to be the grantee of a Royal Warrant from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, having first been granted one by George VI in 1950 for almond products.
Renshaw is the leading British manufacturer of ready to roll icing, marzipan, frostings, caramel and mallows. It supplies specialist sugar craft shops, bakery and general wholesalers as well as major grocery retailers. It also supplies UK customers direct through an e-commerce site: renshawbaking.com. We also supply to local distributors in over 30 countries worldwide and was the fondant used to decorate the 2011 Royal Wedding Cake created by Fiona Cairns
What’s Renshaw’s role here in the New York Tristate? What are they bringing to the table?
We have rolled out 12 sku’s of white and colored fondant and 1 sku of gum paste specifically formulated for the US Market. In 2012 we undertook an extensive market opportunity assessment to ensure Renshaw could give the consumer something better. Two 2012 consumer focus groups and ‘baking super user’ workshops were conducted that helped develop the best performing fondant. We also are considered color specialists and invest a great deal of resources to ensure vibrant rich colors that will not fade like other brands over time.
Talk about Renshaws’ new Ready to Roll Icings and Gum pastes being introduced to our market? Why the need?
There are no doubt many fondant choices available to the different end users in the US yet we are getting phenomenal reviews from home bakers, hobbyist, cake designers, pastry chefs and culinary institutions. Our product is one of others that is being used by The Culinary Institute of America, The Institute of Culinary Education and The International Culinary Institute.
Many brands of fondant have an artificial smell and chemical taste which have given the consumption of Fondant a negative connotation. At weddings and other tasting events most people will remove the fondant before eating the cake. Ours tastes and smells great and coupled with the ability to roll thin is very pleasing on the pallet when eaten with the cake. Additionally, many brands of fondant have to be kneaded, rolled and applied to a cake or dummy quickly before they begin to dry, crack, tear and develop “elephant skin.” Renshaw is formulated to and will not have these consequences thereby giving the beginner to the professional more time to work on their design. Conversely our gum paste has been formulated to dry in a matter of hours while other brands will require the designer to wait overnight before they can complete their masterpiece.
Renshaw’s Ready to Roll Icing includes gum tragacanth. What role does tragacanth play in the icing?
Gum Tragacanth is part of the formulation to give strength to the fondant and therefore helps functionality enabling the fondant to be pinned out.
What’s the void these products provide the New York Tristate foodservice operator that isn’t currently being offered on the market today?
A premium product that tastes great, has superior workability and an elegant finish. Our product has been described as “Carma Massa quality” but our pricing is greatly lower and our taste has been described as “heavenly.” If you are not aware of Massa they are considered the “Rolls Royce” of fondant at Lamborghini prices. Renshaw fondant can be purchased at times for almost 50% less depending on the channel and quantities purchased.
What’s the shelf life for Ready to Roll Icing and Gum pastes?
Presently 12 months from the date of manufacture. However we have formulations under development that will increase shelf life to 18 months.
Any additional products offered by Renshaw?
Presently just the 13 sku’s are being offered however there is a pipeline of innovation under development.
Is Renshaw’s main target a caterer? What other markets can take advantage of their offerings?
Caterers, commercial manufacturers and foodservice operators are just a few of many channels that Renshaw fondant can be utilized in. These channels include specialist trade and consumer baking shops, specialty grocery store e.g. Balduccis , Hobby craft stores e.g. Hobby Lobby and Michaels and Mass stores e.g. Walmart and Target among others.
Where and how can a foodservice operator start ordering Renshaw products, through local distribution or direct?
Both. Our vendor list can be found on our website Renshawbaking.com. Larger quantities can be purchase direct but we require weight minimums and the cost of freight to be covered.