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 at 0-5°C.
  • most chilled prepared foods are made on the day of despatch to the retailer

It’s a UK industry –

  • 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 standardsGreencore_Production_Manager_library54
  • CFA members employ 1,000 scientists

It’s good for employment – 

It’s crucial to the economy – 

  • The UK’s retail chilled prepared food market is worth £12bn 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 >4% 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 UK’sLamb Kebabs with Orange & Watercress Couscous HR 5(2005) 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.