SATS Expands in China with Quality Promise to Capture Larger Slice of Ready-to-eat Market
New Tianjin central kitchen harnesses 50 years of high food safety standards, international culinary expertise, and domain knowledge in food technology and R&D to offer delicious, nutritious and homely convenience meals
China, 14 April 2023 – There has been a rising demand for convenient meal solutions, ever since the COVID-19 pandemic forced many to stay at home. According to a report by global market intelligence company Mintel1, the retail sales of frozen and chilled ready meals in China were expected to reach ¥243.8 billion (approximately US$35.4 billion or S$47.0 billion) in 2022, with an accelerated growth of 12.8% from 9.5% in 2021. This has led leading provider of food solutions and gateway services SATS Ltd. (“SATS”) to strengthen its presence in China, with the opening of a 21,553.13m2 central kitchen in Tianjin today.
SATS has built its reputation over the last 50 years as a quality provider of food and ground handling services, with customers ranging from leading air carriers, supermarkets, quick service restaurants and coffee chains to institutions such as corporates and schools. Under its “twin-engine” growth strategy, the Singapore-headquartered company is committed to strengthening its competencies on home soil and replicating them overseas as it expands globally. This includes China, where SATS has been operating for the last 30 years including in the food space, supported by central kitchens in Beijing, Kunshan and Nanjing as well as a product development and experience centre in Shanghai – all connected to the company’s network of capabilities including the SATS Global Innovation Hub and upcoming SATS Food Hub.
The ¥219 million (equivalent to approximately US$31.83 million or S$42.23 million) investment in the latest central kitchen in Tianjin is a move to adapt to customers’ evolving needs, bring more culinary delights to our customers in China and improve the efficiency of large-scale production, by deploying the latest automation and technology as well as harnessing SATS’ high food safety standards, international culinary expertise, and domain knowledge in food technology and research and development. The facility is strategically located between Beijing and Tianjin and well served by transportation links, enabling SATS to offer a wide variety of safe, delicious, nutritious and ready-to-eat meals to customers not just in the northern region but also the rest of China and beyond.
The Tianjin central kitchen deploys the latest automation and the internet of things (IoT) to improve efficiency of operations and uplift the skills of its manpower, while enabling access to real-time critical information to ensure food quality and safety. For example, IoT enables cooking processes to be pre-programmed and monitored via live dashboards, with alerts automatically triggered in the event of any deviations from cooking timings and temperature settings in pre-set recipes to ensure strict compliance with high food quality and safety standards. Its team of experienced Innovation Chefs and Food Technologists work collaboratively with counterparts in over 20 countries across the Asia Pacific, United Kingdom, and the Middle East to cross-share customer insights and curate unique ready-to-eat and ready-to-cook meals. These include authentic Southeast Asian and fusion flavours inspired by Singapore’s rich culture and heritage, as well the company’s library of more than 10,000 tried-and-tested global recipes that have touched the most discerning of customers – be it on land or 30,000 feet above the ground.
Kerry Mok, President and Chief Executive Officer of SATS Ltd. said, “Throughout our 50 years feeding and connecting communities, SATS has built a reputation for our quality and safety standards. On the food solutions front, our meals are always prepared in compliance with the most stringent safety regulations, and we are constantly on the lookout for technological innovations to help increase productivity and improve food quality. Through the SATS Tianjin central kitchen, we hope to leverage our know-how and capabilities to bring authentic global flavours to the Chinese communities.”
1 Mintel Reports China, Ready Meals, 2022.
Read more: SATS Tianjin Kitchen Factsheet