The frozen food ingredient market is ‘ready for a shake-up’, says new supply venture

By Oliver Morrison contact

- Last updated on GMT

Getty/MarianVejcik
Getty/MarianVejcik

Related tags: frozen aisle, frozen, frozen foods

A new frozen ingredients supply venture in the UK will import frozen food ingredients from around the world, specialising in Individually Quick Frozen (IQF) fruit, vegetables, spices and herbs for further processing by UK and Irish food and eventually manufacturers across Europe.

REMS Frozen Foods is the brain child of three food industry veterans: Adam Shepherd, managing director of food ingredients supplier North Star Foods, based in Leicestershire; James Kempley, group managing director of leading vegetable, salad and mayonnaise producer Troy Foods in Leeds; and Steve Humphrey, managing director of Hessle-based fresh produce trader The Tuber Group.

Adam Shepherd, who will head the business, told FoodNavigator the frozen food ingredient supply market is ready for a shake-up amid revived consumer demand for frozen produce​.  

“The Frozen retail market saw massive growth during the 2020 pandemic, outperforming both the fresh and chilled sectors with an estimated 13.8% year on year increase,”​ he said. “This highlights there is an ongoing demand for alternative IQF Ingredient suppliers in the market and REMS is ready to fulfil that demand.”

He said the venture will help to provide customers of the frozen food sector a more varied selection of goods, quality ingredients and is ideally placed to create a “high performance, specialist business that will really meet the needs of food manufacturers, food service providers and retailers by supplying top quality products at competitive prices”​.

REMS Frozen Foods will work closely with its preferred supplier base to scour the emerging markets to identify new and exciting products for the manufacturing, retail and foodservice sectors. These may be healthy plant alternative for meat substitutes or the next superfood, he told us. In tandem with this, REMS has an ongoing project to identify alternative County Of Origin (COO) suppliers for many of the staple food ingredients that are used in the food manufacturing industry.

A field-to-factory service

Complete with BRC certified technical and supply services and backed by a secured funding facility, the venture will provide a field-to-factory service. It will manage all aspects of the import and delivery of a wide range of produce from IQF strawberries, blueberries, mangoes and melons to onions, garlic, ginger, chillies, tomatoes, potatoes, peas, carrots, mushrooms and peppers.

“There is a constant demand on suppliers for top quality raw materials, with proven full traceability from field to fork and competitive pricing,”​ Shephard observed. “The retailers, manufacturers and foodservice providers are in essence looking for suppliers that can make their lives simple and easier by taking out all the complexity of importing and supplying the ingredients they need to fulfil their customer requirements. That is where REMS Frozen Foods will excel.”

European ambitions

Shephard said the venture is planning a European business launch in the third quarter of 2021 which will launch sooner if the demand is there.

“With our extensive international raw material factory base, we will be able to source and supply a wide range of ingredients from artichokes to zucchini, for use in a vast array of products including ready meals, sausages, sauces, marinades and soups. Our aim is to provide a full-service offering, taking care of all aspects from the sourcing, quality control and importing of products to finance, currency exchange, purchase and customs. Given the added complexity of importing following Brexit changes, taking away the hassle of import issues and giving customers complete peace of mind is more important than ever.”

“We plan to be established as a fully stand-alone business by the end of 2021 with a team of up to a dozen people, and to be the supplier of choice to all major UK and Irish food manufacturers. As well as serving the UK food industry, we also have plans to expand into European markets with ambitions to move further afield too.”

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