Updates about the Horticulture Wales project, along with industry news and opinion.

Collaboration In Business Award 2014 Winner – Fruitapeel And Soulmatefood Ltd

06 December 2014

The winners of our Collaboration in Business Award 2014 are the partnership of Llantrisant-based Fruitapeel and Soulmatefood Ltd, two companies that have worked closely together to change the way fruit juice is packed, stored, and delivered to the end consumer, leading to reduced transportation costs and less waste…

Horticulture Wales Collaboration in Business Winner - Fruitapeel and Soulmatefood LtdFruitapeel was set up in Liverpool in 2006, originally as a processing firm supplying fruit preparation sauces and syrups to ice cream manufacturers such as the then Frederick's Dairies, which produced products under brands such as Cadbury, Del Monte, and Britvic until it was taken over in 2013 by R&R Ice Cream. In 2009, the firm diversified into fruit juices and smoothies after acquiring the former SunJuice cartoning factory on Llantrisant Business Park, while two years later it took on a second unit across the road that provided the company with fresh juice extraction facilities. This fruit juice and smoothie side of the company now manufactures products for leading retailers including the Co-Operative, Asda, M&S, as well as a range of its own-label creations.

Overall, the business now employs around 130 staff and turns over nearly £20 million a year, a figure roughly split 50-50 between the fruit juice/smoothie side of the business in Wales, and the fruit confectionary sauces and syrups side still going strong in Merseyside.

The brainchild of former nightclub owner, personal trainer, and lifestyle coach Christian Coates, Soulmatefood Ltd provides a bespoke healthy-eating meal delivery service that has been popularised by celebrities and sports stars such as actress Michelle Keegan, pop group The Saturdays, Olympic triathlete brothers Alistair and Jonny Brownlee, and cricketer Stuart Broad. The company has also been heavily featured as a nutrition partner for hit TV shows such as Strictly Come Dancing and The X Factor. Its special ‘diet delivered to your doorstep’ concept offers a diverse range of tailored freshly-prepared ‘meals’ based on the end customer’s specific needs – for example general weight loss, sports nutrition and performance, or Paleolithic diets.

Mark Fruitapeel 2 (632px * 1000px)

One integral part of the successful Soulmatefood Ltd range is a ‘Fruit Juice Diet’, of which Fruitapeel currently manufactures and supplies six different flavoured products. Initially, Fruitapeel would manufacture the juice, bottle it, and cold store it in Llantrisant, before it was transferred to Soulmatefood Ltd’s base in Rossendale, Lancashire, where it was packed into its final mixed cases before being dispatched to the end consumer via courier.

With Soulmatefood Ltd’s food ranges going from strength-to-strength, it needed more space at its HQ to store these products, so it started discussions with Fruitapeel to see if it could streamline the supply chain for its fruit juice arm. So now, in addition to making and bottling the product, Fruitapeel now also packs the mixed juice cases as well and stores them in South Wales until they are ready for final dispatch using Soulmatefood Ltd’s couriers.

Fruitapeel juices (300px * 172px)

By working closely together to come up with such an innovative solution, the partnership has effectively eliminated an entire step from the logistical process. Not only has this significantly reduced the cost and environmental impact of transporting the juice, but as the supply chain is leaner, keener and more efficient, the final product gets to the end consumer quicker (and naturally fresher), resulting in less waste. Fruitapeel is also able to exert greater control over storage temperatures, enhancing the overall quality and security of the juice.

The overwhelming success of the partnership so far provides a strong platform for even closer collaboration between the companies over the coming months. The two firms are already holding discussions over expanding the number of juices Fruitapeel supplies, flavour ranges and new product development, while there is also scope for Soulmatefood Ltd to make greater use of Fruitapeel’s packing and storage facilities as a manufacturing and distribution hub.  

Click here to read more about the Horticulture Wales Awards

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