The modernisation programme, which has just been finished, includes production areas, staff facilities and new equipment to improve efficiencies at the firm’s Sevenoaks, UK base.
As a leading supplier into the UK chilled ready meal, soup and sauce market, Jardox provides wet stocks, pastes and dry ingredient blends, and provides own-label ingredients for the likes of Tesco and Asda, as well as leading food manufacturers such as Kerry Group, Greencore and Premier Foods.
Steady turnover growth
Alex Gardener, md, told FoodNavigator.com that the investment over the last 12 months included new retail lines with fillers, wrap and capping machines. This has increased Jardox’s capacity on jars alone by 30%, he said, adding that it was difficult to estimate current output due to the viscosity of many products.
The firm mainly supplies UK customers, although it has a small customer base in Europe, and Gardener said Jardox is currently growing at around 15% per year. Turnover currently stands at £12m, and the firm plans to grow this to £14m in the short-term, perhaps by the end of 2012.
Flavouring regulation impact
Although the EU flavour ing regulation 1334/2008 was adopted at the end of 2008, one major change active from January 20 2011 concerning suppliers, of ingredients, food manufacturers and retailers includes more detailed labelling requirements for natural flavours, with reclassification of nature identical and artificial flavours as ‘flavouring substances’ on labels and documentation.
Asked if this change had affected Jardox’s business significantly, Gardener said: “Slightly, but we’ve had time to prepare for it and since we mostly deal in natural and allergy-free products, so there hasn’t been as much impact on us as some of the flavour houses.”
Meal kit trend
As for current retail trends affecting ingredient supply, there is a significant increase in demand for own-label ‘cooking aids’, said Gardener, emphasising that such products add value to home cooking.
“People are buying ready meals, but are also keen on buying ready meal kits and cooking dinner from themselves – we see real potential for growth here,” he said.
“You can take this into traditional British cuisine as well, where consumers waste so much when they home cook at home with herbs and spices: this isn’t the case if you have a meal for four with sensible portion control. You simply have the herbs and spices supplied for one meal.”