Snack manufacturer targets mini-markets and vending machines

Summit Foods, a specialist in frozen and chilled micro snacks and ‘fresher for longer’ chilled sandwiches for retail, has launched a new division to take its products into the food service sector.

Since joining Abbeydale Food Group four years ago, Summit Foods has seen sales more than double with its ‘Snacksters’ brand becoming the leader in frozen snacking. The company recently reported a year-on-year rise in turnover of 35% in its latest financial results.

Having established a solid customer base in retail, from supplying convenience stores through to large supermarkets, the business has identified demand for its innovative frozen and chilled micro snacks within the food service sector influenced by changes in the food service industry since spring 2020.

“We’ve seen strong retail sales since the outbreak of the pandemic with greater numbers of people turning to stores for our convenient, food-on-the-go type snacking products,” explainsAndrew Hayes, managing director of Summit Foods. “With labour shortages and rising costs continuing, we’ve also identified a need for our long-life, value products within the food service sector too as outlets face ongoing pressures to meet demand and re-imagine how to dovetail with new working patterns and models.

“With significantly more people working from home, there’s been a marked increase in companies installing mini-markets or vending machines for staff, as well as many smaller catering operations being forced to close or offer restricted hours. As innovators in the snacking sector, we have products that are perfect in both situations – for example, with a 25-day extended life, our ‘fresher for longer’ sandwiches are ideal for vending machines. In addition, our burgers, kebabs and paninis offer cost-effective catering options with outlets easily able to re-heat, personalise and add value with minimal labour needed.”

As well as already delivering from its existing range to food service businesses, Summit Foods is also working with customers in the sector to innovate new products and services. The aim is to  help nimble catering operations adjust to maximise delivery and efficiencies despite the challenges of the huge shifts in working patterns seen in the last two years.

“With over 35 years’ experience in the food sector manufacturing branded and own label products, we keep a close eye on the market for emerging consumer trends and insights, and believe we can bring the same benefits to the food service sector as we have to retail,” continued Mr Hayes. “Our strong track in new product development means we have the expertise to work with catering businesses to develop products to their specification with a focus on product innovation and value-for-money.”