Kent fresh foods provider's pre-prepared sales grow more than 10%

By Bethan Grylls

- Last updated on GMT

Fresh Direct's foraged mushroom meat
Fresh Direct's foraged mushroom meat

Related tags Trends

Fresh Direct which supplies fresh foods to the foodservice sector has seen sales of its prepped produce shoot up in the last year as chefs look for kitchen time savers.

Pressures placed onto food sector by labour shortages have been fuelling growth for the pre-prepared category, which includes foods that have been sliced, diced, shredded or cut into different shapes and sizes, and require little intervention. 

In response to growing demand for pre-prepared, coupled with the trend for ‘clean labelled’ foods, Fresh Direct has introduced a range of ‘value-added’ products, including foraged mushroom ‘meat', and a new range of Freshlock products from Fresh Direct’s growing partner Barfoots. Freshlock includes a baked potato and sweetcorn, which are cooked using gentle pasteurisation, pre-cut, and only need warming in the oven before serving.

In addition, Fresh Direct has also launched its shredded white cabbage, red cabbage, and Savoy – all of which are washed and ready to eat; alongside its new vegetable mixes, such as roast veg mix and rainbow slaw.

This follows an investment of £2m into a factory expansion at its Bicester site last year, as its Fresh Kitchen brand saw rising demand.  

“Supporting chefs is at the heart of what we do, so providing a range of products that make back-of-house prep more efficient fits right into that,”​ said Paul Nieduszynski, CEO for Sysco GB​, which owns Fresh Direct.

“With staff shortages still a major issue across the foodservice industry, the demand for prepped products is growing fast. We continue to innovate to provide the products that make a real difference to chefs, prepared to a high specification and supporting chefs where and when they need it most. In many cases, we’ve been able to work with customers to develop bespoke products for them.”

In related, fresh foods news, Bidcorp UK has welcomed a new managing director for its fresh food division, Bidfresh.

Related topics Fresh produce Operations

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