Chilled food demand hots up: cold storage specialist

Chilled foods are enjoying a resurgence, claims the Rick Bestwick firm

Chilled foods continue to find favour with UK consumers, it has emerged, following news from temperature-controlled food specialist Rick Bestwick that it is handling more chilled products than ever before.

The former food manufacturer – which specialises in cold storage and ‘up-tempering’, whereby the temperature of food is raised from -18°C to -3°C in under three minutes – believed the chilled sector represented a big opportunity to producers and retailers.

Statistics show that sales of convenience and chilled products have increased for consecutive years, claimed Rick Bestwick, which predicted a continued upward trend.

“As a company with such strong ties to frozen, it may seem contradictory to highlight chilled as the ‘one-to-watch’ but in food production many chilled products do start out frozen,” said Kevin Hancock, md of the Chesterfield-based company.

‘Frozen and chilled go hand-in-hand’

“Whether that is in ingredient form or as the final product, which is brought up to temperature before hitting the supermarket shelves, the reality is, frozen and chilled go hand-in-hand.”

Chilled food production in the UK is one of the fastest-growing sectors with budget supermarkets such as Aldi and Lidl earmarked as contributing to that growth, the company asserted.

“Despite being seen as discounters, these retailers have ‘premiumised’ the chilled sector,” said Hancock. “By offering a reduced range made up of top quality products, they are able to keep manufacturing levels high and prices low – which ultimately draws in the customer and boosts growth.

“One of the chilled market’s biggest issues is its short shelf-life and the logistical supply chain in getting products from manufacture to retail ‘just-in-time’. You always have to be ahead of the game, and that can result in food waste and financial loss.”

‘Be ahead of the game’

Rick Bestwick recently opened what it claimed was Europe’s largest ‘up-tempering’ facility. It enabled both manufacturers and retailers to speedily thaw frozen products using microwave technology.

The company, part of the Magnavale group, has a network of sites across the UK. It also has a partnership with European logistics firm DFDS Logistics, which provides all of its transport services.

“Rick Bestwick has seen a surge in the number of chilled products leaving our facilities,” said Hancock.

“There has been a particular increase in finished retail packaged goods. Chilled has been on the rise for many years, but it is clear that it will continue to enjoy growth for many more to come.”

Related News

NFT's contract with Essential Fruits is based on a six-month rolling basis

Essential Fruit contracts with NFT to use its Tilbury facility

Former 2 Sisters finance officer has launched his own frozen food business

Former 2 Sisters boss founds frozen food firm

Microwave ‘uptempering’ technology from the US has been installed at Rick Bestwick's Chesterfield facility

Bestwick’s frozen warehouse installs ‘uptempering’ technology

Milne: ‘The bakery market as a whole is shifting away from the traditional’

Supplier moves into bakery to meet fruit demand

Protein from the alfalfa plant contains a variety of vitamins and minerals

Plant protein demand can be met by alfalfa

Protein powders: the products are 100% soluble and suitable for a wide range of food applications

Meat powders fulfil growing demand

Submit a comment

Your comment has been saved

Post a comment

Please note that any information that you supply is protected by our Privacy and Cookie Policy. Access to all documents and request for further information are available to all users at no costs, In order to provide you with this free service, William Reed Business Media SAS does share your information with companies that have content on this site. When you access a document or request further information from this site, your information maybe shared with the owners of that document or information.