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Demand for Asian snacks creates 100 jobs

By Lorraine Mullaney , 04-Feb-2013
Last updated on 04-Feb-2013 at 10:44 GMT

Increasing demand for Asian snacks has led to an expansion of food manufacturing that will create 100 jobs at Euro Foods in the West Midlands.

Euro Foods already has three factories in Bangladesh that process prawns, freshwater fish and vegetables. The factories use these ingredients to manufacture pakoras and samosas for the ethnic food market in the UK.

Euro Foods imports the snacks and distributes them to catering outlets and supermarkets including Tesco and Sainsbury.

However, EU legislation forbids the company from importing meat-based products into the UK, so it is setting up its own manufacturing facility in Darlaston in the West Midlands.

“We can’t make a meat samosa in Bangladesh and import it to the UK,” said Euro Foods’ development director, Andrew Miller. “It’s a food safety issue.”

£5M investment

Miller estimated that the construction and fitting of the manufacturing facility and warehouse would require an investment of around £5M.

He predicted a time-frame of two years for completion of the project. The investment came entirely from private funding.

Euro Foods had a very successful 2012 with a turnover of £93M, which Miller predicted would rise to more than £100M in 2013.

“We are the largest single supplier of wholesale ethnic food,” said Miller. “We’re doing the job better and our prices are keener,” he said.

He attributed the firm’s growth in part to some rationalisation in the industry but also to the increasing demand for ethnic food in the UK.

He said: “There’s been a growth in the UK’s Asian population over the last 10 years, which has brought about an increased number of European firms making Asian food to cater for the growing interest. Most major supermarkets are now stocking Asian food.”

Expansion in Europe

In August 2012, frozen ethnic food manufacturer The Authentic Food Company (TAFC) announced an investment of £2M in boosting its production capacity, after securing contracts to supply ready meals to Asda and several leading retailers in Europe.

Kamal Basran founded the family business from her Stockport kitchen in 1985 with a £5,000 business loan. It now employs 240 staff and produces around 1M ethnic ready meals a week for retailers and pub chains.

Meanwhile, own-label food manufacturer Bakkavör launched an ethnic chilled ready-meals range for Tesco called Taste of India last year.

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