• £100M family-run ethical business COOK is set to innovate in the UK catering sector as it rolls-out its industry leading frozen meals vending machines from March 2023
  • This will see an overhaul of the much-loved vending machine which on average has one vending machine for every five people in the UK
  • COOK’s first-to-market fully automated frozen ready-meals vending machine offers a genuinely simple meal solution for lunchtime and after-hours meals, as well as a take home option at the end of the day.
  • Machines are easy to manage, easy to fill, easy to report on sales and order stock. All you need is onsite microwaves to cook the meals straight from frozen.
  • Popping up initially in offices, residential schemes and student accommodation, the new retail solution aims to improve the availability of convenient quality meals to workers and residents, with ambitions to also move into hospitals, travel hubs and government buildings.

The independently owned and ethically run business COOK, has announced it is rolling out the UK’s first SMART frozen ready-meals vending machines, alongside a bold plan to work with progressive businesses and institutions to provide healthy home-cooked meals where there is limited availability of quality prepared food.

Set to launch at the HRC (Hotel, Restaurant & Catering show) on 20th – 22nd March, the first of its kind service will help to combat findings which report how shift workers have less nutritionally rich diets, with fewer fruit and vegetables, higher free sugars and saturated fats (1,2,3), due in part to poor access to healthy nutritious choices and a reliance on ‘convenience food’.

The move from the acclaimed B-Corp, is just the first in a wave of advancements to the COOK business during 2023 which will include further shops, production facilities and concessions as it continues to buck the trend of many other companies within the sector by investing heavily in growth.

This brings with it a major innovation for the vending machine sector which has one vending machine on average for every five UK people. By combining frozen food and vending through an innovative partnership with retail solutions provider Mother, it is now able to offer fresh food and minimise waste, in an industry which has predominantly been reliant on offering fast food options.

It will help workers and residents gain access to accessible healthy home cooked meals whenever they need it, with ambitious plans for roll out across office spaces, residential schemes, hospitals, travel hubs and educational institutions – helping to fuel a better fed and better performing workforce.

Chris Portwood, COOK Chief Sales Officer says: “The launch of our vending machines comes at an important time for the food and beverage industry which in recent years has struggled to provide employees and residents with regular healthy meals due to an unprecedented, and unpredictable shift in working patterns due to the rise in remote/flexible working.”

“Helping to provide healthy and affordable options to the UKs workforce, our new service will help to reduce food wastage and support companies trying to improve the health and wellbeing of their teams by giving access to more healthy convenient food options.”

“We plan to launch a minimum of 15 machines this year as we hone our proposition and start to work through manufacturing timelines and requirements from prospective partners. To begin with, the focus will be large offices with requirements for out-of-hours working, residential accommodation, student accommodation and universities with a captive on-site audience of over 500.”

Phil Davison, Founder & CEO of Mother says: “We’re thrilled to be supporting COOK on this new venture, helping them develop an entirely new revenue stream and marketing channel for their business. Using our state of-the-art software platform, we’ve developed what we believe is the UK’s first truly smart frozen vending machine.”

“Our machines have all been specifically built with the customer in mind, creating highly engaging and simplified automated retail experiences, designed to build customer loyalty and trust.”

“The interactive user interface, cashless and mobile payments, product filtering, nutritional information, product animations and special offers all contribute to what customers are demanding nowadays – a modern day digital retail experience.”

To begin with, all vending machine items will be sold as ‘complete meals’ that are suitable for microwaving, with vegetarian and low-calorie options, starting from £4.75. Stand out meals include a combination of best sellers and seasonal dishes, including sticky soy glazed beef, hearty chicken casserole, and portobello mushroom risotto, made with the same ingredients and techniques you would at home, so everything looks and tastes homemade.”


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March 2024 issue

2024 A1 Buyers Guide