British frozen meals retailer COOK has invested in new freezer equipment as it looks to increase its production capacity by 80%.

COOK, which also aims to double sales within five years, has bought a custom-made unit that will allow continuous freezing for its ready-to-cook meals.

The spiral freezer was designed and installed by Starfrost, a provider of industrial freezing and chilling equipment based in Suffolk in the UK.

Starfrost said the freezer has cut the demand for manual labour, freed up factory space and reduced processing times. It is now working on a project to deliver a second unit of the same kind for Kent-headquartered retailer COOK, which will enable it to freeze up to 3,600 meals per hour.

In a statement, COOK’s Technical Projects Manager, Ben Walker, said the introduction of the new units will allow it to freeze its products much faster and more efficiently than with the previous blast freezing approach.

“We’ve seen a significant boost in terms of output; we have now increased production capacity by 50%. With the addition of the second spiral freezer this summer, we plan a further 30% increase, bringing our total expected throughput up by 80%,” he said.

COOK, which was founded in 1997 with the aim of producing frozen meals that resemble those cooked at home, offers a delivery service, has its own stores and also sells through other retailers.

The company will open a new outlet in the city of Bath in south-west England next month[May], its first new store to launch since the coronavirus pandemic hit.

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