Producer of frozen bakery products for the wholesale sector, Frank Dale, has been the recipient of a UK£400,000 investment in its equipment.
Like many brands, Frank Dale saw a drop in its sales during the pandemic – however things are starting to change, as 2022 proved to be a successful year, as new business opportunities prompted new investment.
“Sales of Frank Dale were completely decimated during 2020/21 when the pandemic first hit. Unless you were in Government it was practically illegal to have a buffet, so our strategy was all about survival,” explained Edward Miles, Managing Director of Finedale Foods, the home of Frank Dale. “However, last year volumes returned to pre-pandemic levels, having appointed Central Foods as our exclusive distributor. This has enabled us to focus on business recovery and manufacturing, which has given us more time to deal with industry wide supply chain challenges.”
“This change of approach allowed us to seize the opportunity to gain wider exposure in the wholesale market,” he added.
As sales increased, the company channeled its investment into areas of the business where growth was apparent.
“As the volumes returned in 2022, it gave us the confidence we needed to accelerate our progression and development in the factory,” Edward continued.
Focusing on production and its need to increase output, the company made a number of key improvements to its production line over the course of 2022, including the purchase of more blast freezing, rack cooling (to utilise blast freezing capacity), more power to the site to run the new equipment and the purchase of automated quiche cutters to remove production bottlenecks.
Other investments included a new metal detector, a pastry mixer dedicated to larger quiche production, more racks and the replacement of older equipment to cope with larger volumes.
“The investment into new production equipment has allowed us to facilitate running more lines at the same time,” Edward added. “In effect we are producing twice the volume that we did in 2017, which is considerable when you take into account the negative impact of Covid for two years of trading.”
Looking ahead, the company has clear objectives for 2023 and beyond: “Plans for this year include rebranding Frank Dale and reviewing and expanding the range. As social calendars return to normality, we have seen Frank Dale reach a much wider audience and we need to ensure the range continues to pack a punch at events and occasions,” Edward concluded.
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