COOK Trading has increased production capacity of its ready to cook meals with the addition of another spiral freezer from mechanical freezing experts Starfrost.
In the 25 years since COOK has been established, the family firm has transformed the ready-meals market with its superior quality frozen ready meals. Inspired by the taste of great home cooking, COOK services the rapidly increasing consumer demand for quality ready to cook food.
With three production kitchens in the South of England, COOK produces over 30 million meals per year which are sold in 90 of its own shops and more than 900 independent stores. The company has experienced rapid and significant business growth in the past three years following the acquisition of new premises and the development of new product ranges.
Having decided to invest in new freezing equipment to support growth, COOK turned to cooling technology partners Starfrost – the companies had previously worked together on an expansion project in 2019.
Starfrost engineering teams custom-built a mechanical freezing system, which has been designed to integrate seamlessly with COOK’s processing line. Since installation earlier this year, the additional Helix spiral freezer has boosted COOK’s total production capacity by 30% across all production kitchens located in Sittingbourne, Kent.
Ben Walker, General Manager at COOK, discusses the importance of freezing and the benefits of the newly installed Starfrost spiral freezer: “Choosing the correct freezing process for food products is essential to maintain high manufacturing standards. The freezing process has an effect on processing time and consequently impacts profit margins. It is also key to deliver the consistent product quality we require at COOK.”
“The choice between spiral freezing and blast freezing – a process we had used before, was made following extensive research and product test trials; the conclusion was that the spiral freezer option would facilitate greater efficiencies in the freezing process and provide consistent freezing. It also removed the need for the trolleys that blast freezing requires, reducing the risk of potential accidents caused by moving trolleys around the kitchen.”
“The Helix spiral freezer has enabled us to significantly expand production capacity by 30%. The use of automated equipment means that our production line is continuously moving without interruption and our product quality levels are improved with consistent, non-stop freezing.”
“As always, we have enjoyed working with Starfrost, from point of sale through to commissioning and install, the transparent and personable service that the teams have provided is refreshing and of the highest standard. We look forward to working with Starfrost on our next project.”
The spiral freezer designed for COOK operates uninterruptedly and freezes produce consistently, allowing production at COOK to be accurately controlled and monitored whilst delivering dependable quality results. The automated solution provided by both Starfrost spiral freezers has enabled COOK to increase total throughput by 80%.