Authentic Food Company invests £2M to meet growing demand for ethnic food

By Lorraine Mullaney

- Last updated on GMT

Nik Basran with his mother, Kamal, who founded TAFC
Nik Basran with his mother, Kamal, who founded TAFC

Related tags: Investment

Frozen ethnic food manufacturer The Authentic Food Company (TAFC) has invested £2M in boosting its production capacity, after securing contracts to supply ready meals to Asda and several leading retailers in Europe.

The Manchester food firm plans to make capital investment across its sites in Stockport and Sharston.

TAFC md Nik Basran told FoodManufacture.co.uk: “We will improve our factory efficiencies across both sites with new equipment. This includes new state-of-the-art freezing technology, new cooking vessels and an extension to the warehouse to facilitate all of the business growth.”

Basran said the new contract with Asda was: “an extension of the current range of frozen meals we supply”​.

The company has achieved significant growth in the last four years and is on track to meet its revenue target of £50M by the end of 2012.

Basran said: “One exciting new development is our expansion into Europe where we are relishing the challenge of supplying new flavours to the markets where ethnic food is far less developed.”

He believed growth had also been boosted by increasing TAFC’s business with its existing customers.

Gordon Ramsay brand

TAFC expects its Chinese ready-meals range to almost double in value to £20M, after launching new products in partnership with the Gordon Ramsay brand.

Basran teamed up with chefs at the Yu & You restaurant, which featured on Gordon Ramsay’s Channel 4 programme Ramsay’s Best Restaurant​. Blackburn-based Yu & You beat London restaurant Kai to win the title of Best Chinese Restaurant.

Head chef Victor Yu and his brother, Vinny Yu collaborated with TAFC to launch an oriental meals range in Spring this year.

Chinese meals double in value

Basran predicted that this Chinese ready meal range would double in value to £20M in “the next few years”​.

He said: “The growth is on the back of our improved development with Yu & You. We are winning business across foodservice, retail and in Europe, where there is generally a better level of awareness of Chinese food over Indian.”

Kamal Basran, mother of md Nik Basran, started the family-owned business from her Stockport kitchen in 1985 with a £5,000 loan. Now it employs 240 staff and produces around 1M meals a week.

TAFC supplies national pub chains and major UK retailers, including Morrisons, the Co-operative Group, Iceland and Asda.

Related topics: NPD, Frozen

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