Cold Store Christmas; Food manufacturing for 2018 and beyond

August 21, 2018

Secure a cold storage partner

Christmas and food go hand-in-hand. It just wouldn’t be Christmas without mince pies, sprouts and turkey. And every year the food industry delivers.

Around 10 million turkeys are eaten in the UK every Christmas and around 370 million mince pies are sold over the festive season each year1.

That’s a huge opportunity for food manufacturers. But with the countdown to December 25th now on, just how does the food industry get so many products out in such a short space of time?

Unless you can increase your output and workforce ten-fold in the run-up to Christmas, cold storage is the only certain way to ensure you can deliver the vast amounts of products which consumers demand.

Working with a respected cold storage partner mitigates the risk of storing products yourself and frees up vital floor space to ensure you can maximise productivity. Additional services including blast freezing, microwave and rapid air-up tempering can ensure longer shelf-life and faster dispatch.

Start planning early

Festive season is an incredibly busy time for the hospitality and catering industry - it is never too early to start thinking about storage space. In cold storage operations, space is at a premium during the last few months of the year and manufacturers cannot rely on capacity being available for their products in the direct run up to December. Failing to think ahead will result in increased cost, or simple unavailability, at a time when margins are already being scrutinised.

The solution is to find a facility as soon as possible, with freezing and up-tempering facilities. Chilled manufacturers are those most at risk.

Create a contingency

With the UK set to exit the EU in March 2019, and trade negotiations still ongoing, import and export in a post-Brexit world remains a quandary.

Planning in the food industry is essential – whether that’s for seasonal demand, future trends or indeed, our exit from the European Union.

Christmas 2019 may seem in the far off future, but for the food industry – which relies on the import and export of food in both ingredient form and as finished products – it is just around the corner.

As we look ahead to our first Christmas outside the EU in over 40 years, Brexit must be a key consideration for food manufacturers. Can you get the ingredients you need to manufacture your products? Can you export your products readily to your key markets? Do you have a plan in place for Brexit?

Whether you need to bulk store finished products or store ingredients in preparation for next Christmas, a cold storage partner can help you plan ahead now.

Christmas around the world

Salmon, chocolate, cheese, beef and pork are all products enjoyed at Christmas – not just in the UK, but across the globe. But did you know that those products are also among the UK’s top food exports according to the Food & Drink Federation2?

With Brexit set to shake the UK economy, food manufacturers should consider exploring new markets. An exciting but daunting opportunity perhaps?

In December 2017, a record-breaking 143,000 tonnes of Christmas cargo flew out of Heathrow airport3. Everything from frozen lobster to 6,070 tonnes of salmon all heading to non-EU countries, with the top five destinations:

  • United States (15,310 tonnes)
  • China (6,200 tonnes)
  • UAE (3,770 tonnes)
  • Australia (3,360 tonnes)
  • Hong Kong (2,770 tonnes)

Outside the EU and the single market, many export markets require licences. These ensure exported products – particularly food – meet the country of destination’s standards.

Many businesses choose to work with a partner who will take care of everything from logistics and storage to loading the shipping containers. Rick Bestwick holds export licences to all of these countries and more.

Christmas is a golden opportunity for food manufacturers to maximise their revenues but with the future unpredictable, getting a robust strategy in place now will undoubtedly deliver long-term rewards. Food for thought indeed.