Fresh Direct, which supplies fruit, veg and dairy products to chefs, has invested £2 million at its Bicester site to scale up production for its Fresh Kitchen brand.
Fresh Direct – part of Sysco Speciality Group – has reported a fourfold increase in Fresh Kitchen production of a comprehensive range of sauces, pickles, slaws, marinades, relishes and desserts for the foodservice industry.
As a result, it has increased the size of its manufacturing facility by 20% to allow for additional ovens, blast chillers and other equipment. It has also added two new developments chefs and one product development executive to the existing group.
“Historically, Fresh Kitchen manufactured products for foodservice operators looking to elevate their menu with premium quality ingredients and finished dishes that were either difficult, or time consuming, for caterers to make in-house,” said James Chilton, manufacturing manager at Fresh Kitchen.
“However, with many operators struggling to attract skilled kitchen staff, we are now seeing demand for a much wider range of products, including many that would previously have been made in-house. We are able to provide caterers with high quality finished products of great consistency, and an escape from the headache of trying to find and retain staff capable of making these products in-house.”
Fresh Kitchen currently has a range of around 400 products, and during any one week it will produce around 70 of those for a variety of clients.
“Growth is currently coming from a number of different product lines, but in particular bolognese sauce, beef bourguignon, and pickles made with ingredients such as cucumber, red onion, and fennel,” Chilton reports. “The latter are particularly popular as we expedite the pickling process and provide a product that is ready to use, as opposed to the customer having to make their own and then wait days for it to ferment.”
In addition to supplying chefs, Fresh Kitchen serves other wholesalers both within and outside the Sysco group.
Published Date: February 11, 2023