• Cooks Confectionery has been operating for 35 years. While the company manufactures private label customisable sugar and chocolate products, it is best known for bringing the iconic Scorched Peanut Bar back into production in 2019.
    Cooks Confectionery has been operating for 35 years. While the company manufactures private label customisable sugar and chocolate products, it is best known for bringing the iconic Scorched Peanut Bar back into production in 2019.
  • Cooks Confectionary managing director Daniel Lezcano
    Cooks Confectionary managing director Daniel Lezcano
  • Cooks Confectionery has been operating for 35 years. While the company manufactures private label customisable sugar and chocolate products, it is best known for bringing the iconic Scorched Peanut Bar back into production in 2019.
    Cooks Confectionery has been operating for 35 years. While the company manufactures private label customisable sugar and chocolate products, it is best known for bringing the iconic Scorched Peanut Bar back into production in 2019.
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Cooks Confectionery was looking to solve the high energy bills that come with sweets and chocolate manufacturing. Solar panels were just the ticket. This article first appeared in the August 2021 issue of Food and Drink Business.

Scorched Peanut Bar reviver, and contract chocolate and confectionery manufacturer Cooks Confectionery wanted to do something about its growing power bill. Supplying premium quality chocolate, toffee and nut products to wholesalers, supermarkets, and other retailers across Australia comes at a cost, particularly in terms of power.

Managing director Daniel Lezcano was keen to reduce the power bill, no mean feat for a company operating 16 hours a day with heating running 24/7.

“Our power bills were sitting around $12,000 a quarter before we installed solar,” Lezcano says.

Based in Albion Park on the New South Wales South Coast, Cooks Confectionery has been operating for 35 years. While the company manufactures private label customisable sugar and chocolate products, it is best known for bringing the iconic Scorched Peanut Bar back into production in 2019. In 2020 it was lauded as one of the most successful chocolate bar launches of the year. This year saw the bar expand into tubs and bites, and a seasonal Easter range is set to launch in 2022.

Cooks’ 1200 square metre factory is set to have the largest automated toffee brittle bar production/packaging line in the southern hemisphere, at more than 80 metres in length once completed. The company manufactures and robotically packs its famous Toffee Brittles and the infamous Scorched Peanut Bar product range, which complements its in-house chocolate manufacturing.

Lezcano says, “We will triple our production with this new bespoke line. It’s due to be fully operational at the end of the year.”

Lezcano says solar was a “no brainer”. “We wanted to put as many solar panels on the roof as possible, and Energus had the best price and strongest track record,” he says.

Energus sales director Thomas Bell said the installation was straight forward and the energy savings allowed the company to double its shifts.

“Even with the introduction of the second shift the company’s energy bill stayed the same, saving them around $10,000 a quarter, effectively doubling production without increasing energy costs,” Bell says.

For Lezcano the savings have enabled the business to double its productivity, invest in better quality machines and increase output.

For consumers that means more sweet treats to enjoy.

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