The opening of the extension boostsproduction space from around 6,000 square feet to 35,000 square feet. Kwoks Foods says that the increased production capacity is a big step towards achieving its aim of beingthe leading player in Europe for the supply of oriental ready meals.
The expanded factory includes state-of-the-art kitchens designed to handle the wide range of meals Kwoks produces - and newlines, which are forecast to follow the development work.
The new facility was opened byAnthony De Nunzio, president and chief executive officer of Asda on January 12. The involvement of Asda is indicative of just how important the retailer has been as an outlet for Kwoks. Indeed the ready-meals provider estimates that some 80 per cent of its total sales are derived from Asda outlets.
Kwoks established itself at the Europark manufacturing park three years ago, at a time when the growth of the ready meals sector in the UK was rapidly developing. Riding that wave of growth, Kwoks has had great success with lines such as its own-brand range of grab-bag Thai meals.
In all, the facilities now provide 64,000 oriental-styleready meals a week to a market that the company says is still showing potential. "We are most definitely in a growth market," said Kwoks'managing director Ian Rosindale. "It is a market which is moving at anexceptionally fast pace and one which is gathering momentum.
"We have become a major player and can claim with some justificationthat we have achieved our best-in-Europe objective in terms of foodquality - restaurant standard meals are the constant aim - and are wellon the way too in terms of manufacturing and support systems."
Currently Kwoks employs 120 staff and is part of the William JacksonGroup of Companies. The company says that it intends to further build on its current position by concentrating on establishing a larger supply base amongst other leading retail chains within Europe.