The fourth-generation ice cream makers run by brothers Rasmus and Anders Eibye, in Jægerspris, near Copenhagen, Denmark, has doubled production from one to two million liters of ice cream per year over the last five years as demand for premium ice cream becomes more specialized and differentiated.
The company uses only natural ingredients and the ice cream is 100% organic and made without additives. The premium vanilla is grown in Madagascar and Congo, and the chocolate comes from award-winning Friis-Holm. Hansens’ sorbet flavors contain 60% to 80% fresh fruit.
“Product development is very much a focus for us. Ice cream is about creating unique experiences. We’re constantly on the move; we launch 30 product articles each season,” said Rasmus.
“This year we have made our own caramel fudge and chocolate fudge topping, and we have started to make basic ice cream mixes for restaurants.”
The two brothers take great pride in managing the whole process from raw milk to the finished product, a premium ice cream rich in taste and available in sticks, waffles, cups or tubes.
Hansens Flødeis was founded in 1922 by Hans Hansen before changing the name to Frederiksborgs Is and then sold to a multinational. Hansens Flødeis was then relaunched in 2003 by Hans Hansens grandson, Jørgen Eibye.
The dairy is now run by his two sons and has around 30 employees in the winter and 50 in the summer, and produces two million liters of organic premium ice cream.
The dairy sells most of its products in Denmark, with a small percentage of the volume going to selected customers in Norway and Sweden.
“We’re in control of the whole chain, from nearby farms where 120 Jersey cows produce our milk and where we collect the milk with our own tank truck, to the farmers in Africa who grow vanilla and mango for us,” added Rasmus.
“The local touch is important to us. We know our farmers personally. We have visited them in Congo and Uganda. It may not be the easiest solution, but we like to make that extra effort to get the best taste.”
The ice cream production in Hornherred Dairy’s building from the 1920s is a mix of traditional ice cream making and modern food production. The two brothers are using Hansens’ original recipes, but the process has been refined.
The dairy has four production lines and uses three generations of freezer from Tetra Pak (and formerly Hoyer, which is now part of Tetra Pak).
The KF 600 from the 1960s, the KF 1150 from the 1980s and the Tetra Pak Continuous Freezer 1000 A 2.0 from 2019. In addition, a two-year old Tetra Pak Continuous Freezer 2000 A 2.0 helps out when production volume has to be increased.
“The freezer is the heart of the production line and is a key investment for an ice cream producer. We rely on it every day to make premium ice cream the way we want,” added Rasmus.
“Before, the operator had to have a feel for when the ice cream was ready. Here, managing mechanical impact with the whisks is vital to get the perfect ice cream. With our new equipment we can control production through temperature instead of viscosity.”