Nuggets about chilled food, and the industry that produces it, to chew over.
It’s fresh –
• chilled prepared foods are not kept fresh using preservatives – they rely instead on being kept chilled
• most chilled prepared foods are made on the day of despatch to the retailer
It’s local –
• virtually all chilled prepared foods are made in the UK
It’s made by experts –
• The production of chilled prepared foods requires substantial technical competence and maintenance of high standards
• CFA members employ 1,000 scientists
It’s good for employment –
• Some 25 companies comprise the major producers and employ 60,000 people in the UK, in roles ranging from product development to engineering
It’s crucial to the economy –
• The UK’s retail chilled prepared food market is worth >£9bn pa and represents some 13% of the retail food market
• High quality food that’s easy to prepare saves time and fuels the nation
It’s been around for over forty years, is growing and very relevant to our future –
• Chilled food has been available since the 1960s. The first modern chilled food products were coleslaw and potato salad, then in the 1980s ready meals started to appear, the first being cottage pie
• The market is still growing at 5% pa
• To quote one CFA member, the chilled food manufacturing industry ‘will probably be one of the last remaining manufacturing industries in the UK’
• There is, owing to the sector’s growth, a critical need for the more food scientists/technologists to be trained and brought into the industry
It’s part of almost all our lives, and you might not even realise it –
• The chilled food industry makes 12,000 different foods, mostly every day. From fresh soups and pasta to ready made sandwiches and prepared salads chilled foods can be found on our tables and in most people’s lunch boxes and fridges.
• In 2004, over 80% of UK households bought a chilled ready meal with over 40% buying one within any given month (Source TNS 2005).
• Nearly all (more than 95%) of chilled prepared foods are sold under the retailer’s brand.