University of Nottingham’s Food Innovation Centre to support brand producing healthy ready meals for key workers in UK

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3 min read
AUTHOR: Fiona Holland

The Food Innovation Centre at the University of Nottingham has announced its experts will assist the company Kitchen Prep in creating nutritious meals for key workers in Britain.

The team of experts from the Centre will help Kitchen Prep with labelling and food safety training.

Kitchen Prep was founded by Emily Willis, a former deputy manager of a care home, and Luke Skidmore, previously a worker in the foodservice industry. The company creates chef-made frozen ready meals that are healthy and nutritious, but not time-consuming, allowing people with busy lives to still eat healthily.

The meals are targetted at key workers including doctors, nurses and police officers who struggle to find fruit and vegetables when they finish work. As Willis says: “I have friends who are police officers and at night they are having chips and kebabs from fast food outlets because they can’t find anywhere open at that time that is selling healthy meals. I was also coming home after a busy day as a key worker and struggling to find time to cook healthy nutritional meals.”

The range of meals, which include vegan, fish, and meat options, have been developed by Certified Nutritionist, Nicole Mann from NM Nutrition. They are then put together by a chef at Kitchen Prep’s headquarters in Long Eaton, Derbyshire, and can be heated up straight from frozen.

The ready meals are available to purchase online for the moment, as well as at the P.E.C.S. Fitness gym in Nottingham.

In the future, Kitchen Prep hope their meals will be available in spaces where key workers work, such as police stations and hospitals.

The ready meals are targeted at other groups too, says Luke. “It was the needs of key workers that originally inspired us, but we can see that there are many people who would benefit from our Kitchen Prep UK nutritionally balanced meals, such as new mums, elderly people living on their own, busy professionals, gym goers…basically anyone who is trying to look after themselves.”

The Food Innovation Centre offers support to small and medium-size companies working in the food and drinks sector in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire. Their work is a part of the Driving Research and Innovation project which is in operation until the end of December.

Head of the Food Innovation Centre, Richard Worrall, said: “The Coronavirus pandemic and lockdowns have created a real spirit of entrepreneurialism, especially in the food and drink sector and we were very pleased to help Luke and Emily in the early days of Kitchen Prep UK. We wish them well in their venture together.”

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