Inspiring great meals from prepared foods since 1924

Frozen foods just get cooler

October 5th, 2018

The frozen section in UK retail was once seen as low cost and low quality compared to fresh produce.

With improved production methods, global ethical sourcing and premiumisation of frozen dishes, it’s now a category rich in innovation, quality, sustainability and growth potential.

The millennial buyer isn’t impeded by historic judgement of the category and producers such as Roberts of Port Dinorwic are creating through specialist NPD services are delivering dishes which meet the demands of the health-conscious buyer.

Premiumisation keeps pushing the boundary for the frozen category with provenance and authenticity of ingredients and flavours.

Consumer awareness is improving with regards to frozen foods is often less processed and contains fewer additives/preservatives than chilled alternatives.



Snacks & food on-the-go

UK consumers are now choosing snacks for 50% of all eating occasions. A majority of consumers are aiming to improve their diet and achieve a balanced lifestyle whilst not sacrificing taste.

Millennials and gen X are transforming the UK eating and drinking habits, consuming less meat and dairy and choosing more free-from options. The snack and food on-the-go category now has so much to offer in terms of healthy options and is set to offer so much more.

Snacks now cover sweet, savoury, hot and cold, liquid, biscuits, fruits, meats, vegetables and dairy.

Healthy is now the future of snacking and food on-the-go encompassing free-from, protein, vegan and lower-calorie. Protein snacks are immensely popular as they are favoured by the health conscious due to their high protein content, great taste and convenience. NPD now seeks authentic flavours with new proteins. Protein is no longer seen as the domain of the body-builder, it now is understood to be a foundation of a healthy diet, especially plant-based proteins.

Hot snacks are seeing some amazing flavour profiles with global street food themes.

If your business is looking to develop a snack/food on-the-go offer and are seeking an experienced and innovative NPD team who have an in-depth knowledge of meat and plant based proteins we would be delighted to have that initial chat.


Commitment to reducing plastics in our industry

Roberts of Port Dinorwic are looking for all the ways to reduce the consumption of single-use plastics within the business at every opportunity. Recently we have seen a fantastic initiative in a leading UK retailer where pre-packed bananas are now wrapped in a recyclable paper band. It is estimated it will save 10 million plastic bags a year.

Passionate about minimising plastic

One of our commitments to removing single-use plastics from our business is switching from single-use plastic cutlery to Forest Stewardship Council certified wooden versions when developing and producing dishes for the to-go meal category.

Not only do we embrace this change but our clients are now stating their customers require such positive moves.


Potential supply partners our ethical policy is critical to us working together.

We pride ourselves on responsible sourcing and our commitment to high ethical standards throughout our supply chain. We require complete transparency from all suppliers, with regard to sourcing, working conditions, working practices and employee welfare.

Honesty is a core value at Roberts of Port Dinorwic, a value we expect to be demonstrated by the people that work with us. Our technical team and buyers make frequent trips to our suppliers to check on working conditions, environmental impact and welfare conditions.

National Vegetarian Week

We’ve been busy feeding many of the 3.5 million UK vegans

We’re so proud of our work alongside chefs and food buyers in developing fresh, exciting new vegan and vegetarian dishes which are seen across the UK on restaurant menus and have won numerous accreditations.

Half of UK adults are adopting ‘vegan-buying behaviour’ as numbers of full-time vegans grow four-fold in 10 years and it’s forecast to increase year on year.

Insight from the Kantar Worldpanel Usage panel shows that consumers are already increasingly choosing to eat meat-free dinners, potentially making the jump to veganism less daunting. 29% of our evening meals are veggie, and this has grown consistently over the past few years. The biggest spike has been over the past year, during which we ate an additional 200m meat-free evening meals.

A look at consumer behaviour over recent years shows that taking the plunge for Veganuary might not be such a challenge for consumers, and for many could be a natural result of changing attitudes towards health and environmental issues.

Then bring in “reducetarians” and “flexitarians,” groups committed simply to eating less meat.  The interest is in outcomes rather than processes. The reason people eat less meat isn’t for some badge, some public status, it’s because it has a meaningful impact on the world. According to the reducetarians, to eat less meat is an accomplishment; but to eat meat occasionally isn’t a failure.

This lifestyle choice is just part of the story for the restaurant and foodservice industry as a famous chef recently explained. A party of ten booking a restaurant based their decision on which establishment to dine in on where offered the best choice of vegan and vegetarian dishes for the one vegan and one vegetarian in the group, the eight meat eaters just followed!

The chef couldn’t more strongly advise having a great vegan and vegetarian offer as part of the menu and you don’t risk losing any potential guest whatever their dining profile, their influence is critical. With the amazing flavours, textures and fusion of ingredients many die-hard meat lovers are willingly trying the vegan and vegetarian dishes, with great success.

The founder of one of London’s longest-established Michelin-starred restaurants said: “I firmly believe that plant-based eating is not a trend, it’s a real thing and we are only seeing the very thin edge of what will be a game-changing wedge.”

If you need new dishes for your menu which vegans are proud of and dedicated carnivores love – we’d welcome your call.

Plant based protein npd services

We’re embracing the growing demand for plant based protein dishes for our customers. Meat-free dishes are readily available in restaurants and supermarkets across the U.K. Our strategy is based on supporting the growth of plant-based proteins, developing new processes to monitor the progress of this booming market and continually investing in our npd service.

If your menu is in need of plant-based protein npd services we look forward to discussing this with you.

Our NPD boosts your category performance

Roberts of Port Dinorwic are committed to the success of your category, without this we can’t succeed. We’ve been inspiring great meals from prepared foods since 1924 and are looking to celebrate this in our forthcoming centenary.

Only by offering excellence of product through focused NPD will we maintain our position as a leading UK food developer. Our whole focus is demonstrating that working in partnership with customers we achieve health and growth of the category.

Our NPD is category focused and brings distinct benefits:

Innovation can attract new customers to a category. Increasing spend and brand loyalty.

NPD can move a category into new consumption areas. Would your dishes work well for fine dining as well as mainstream dining occasions with a bit of NPD magic?

Ongoing innovation identifies developing food needs and trends. Food trends require fast paced responses to capture the market and grow.

By working with your category buyers and development teams we place your category at the forefront of our skilled NPD teams service.


Welsh sheep farmers launch lamb brand

The Grocer had a great article in the 9th December edition profiling Ffermydd Teuluol / Family Farms – the group of North Wales farmers who have created a new Welsh lamb brand. This will add value to their produce, reverse declining consumption and give greater control over the supply chain.

Roberts of Port Dinorwic are proud to have a pivotal part in the new product development and production process. This partnership will see an initial launch of Welsh lamb meatballs in a red wine and rosemary sauce, Welsh lamb meatballs in a Moroccan sauce and Welsh lamb meatballs in a Bombay sauce. These mouthwatering dishes will be followed by authentic Welsh lamb burgers.


3 food trends we’re watching for 2018

Hawaiian food

Poke bowls are everyday food in Hawaii – essentially sushi without the fussy presentation. Still relatively hard to find, even in London, next year they will likely cross over into the mainstream. These bowls are endlessly customisable and can be economical.

Plant-based protein

With more and more chefs embracing ingredients such as tofu, tempeh and quinoa, veganism is on the rise. Redefined Indian cuisine (rich with pulses) is a growing trend, with restaurants taking dishes back to their plant-based roots with originality and mass appeal. There’ll be more meat-free days in 2018.

Everyday food tech

Amazon is now competing with a clutch of smaller outfits who specialise in delivering recipe kits to home chefs, which means an emerging trend is set to become even bigger. Tying in with this, the development of smart fridges will take the hassle out of ordering ingredients by snapping ‘shelfies’ of your food to keep you well-stocked. We can also look forward to more voice-operated gadgets such as Google Home and Alexa to record and order your shopping lists.

Est. 1924