In conjunction with ALDI, Creative Food Solutions have developed a range of ready to heat and serve restaurant quality meals for the retail market for their third Challenge win, this time in the highly contested Ready Meals Award.
As a chef and lover of food, Creative Food Solutions general manager, Peter Cox, spent many hours walking through supermarket isles looking and wondering what style of product he would produce for the retail market when the time arose.
Cox wanted to create a unique product that was fresh and attractive, without a hit of processing. Equally important was the ability to produce it at large volumes. Cox knew that the protein component had to be higher than the 30-40% that was currently available in ready meals on the market.
Having produced this style of product for the past five years to service some of the leading hotels and restaurants in Sydney, the idea was to find the most suitable style of packaging to break out into the retail market.
The partnership between the Creative Food Solutions and Aldi first started when Aldi became aware of Cox’s company after their previous FOOD Challenge win.
“They knew we had credibility and had backing to us,” said Cox. “The win this year is absolutely fantastic. The guys from Aldi are ecstatic and absolutely over the moon.
“We’re planning on using the win as a marketing tool to launch the product. We’ve printed up 400,000 stickers to go on each of the trays, as a way to elevate the product from its competitors.
The Specially Selected Range of Restaurant Meals contain six varieties of meals for two, in a self-venting microwavable tray. Each product contains two portions of either 180 gram boneless breast of chicken or 180 gram 150 day grain fed Angus beef medallions, served with a variety of freshly made chef quality sauces.
The products are created using on the freshest ingredients, with no added preservatives, colourings or flavourings. Each meal is cooked in its own sous vide container for an extended period, producing a tender, moist taste sensation, and long shelf life.
The meats for the range are sourced from only the finest producers. The chickens are chemical and hormone free and the beef medallions are sourced from the Margaret River area in Western Australia. All of the sauces are made daily for the products and are made from scratch by sautéing vegetables, reducing wines, adding spices and simmering to the perfect consistency.
One of the major marketing points for the range of products is that they are stored in the fridge instead of being sold frozen.
“I really didn’t think we would win when I saw the finalists this year. I couldn’t imagine that we’d be third-time lucky, with the standard of our opponents, but it’s a great start for the journey to come.”