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Frews Lamb Meat in Cooked Meals for DIrect Sale

Meals designs that contain a high content of meat have been achieved and trialled in direct sale with vending machines in secure and controlled areas. The meals have been based on the meatball range of meals developed in Stage 1: 

  • Frewstal meat has been blended as a ready to form meat mix according to the recipe for the meatballs.
  • The meat mix has been stored in 20Kg cases in frozen form into stock.
  • In smaller quantities, the meatball mix has been defrosted, formed into meatballs, and cooked. The cooked meatballs are frozen immediately after cooking and then packed in 10Kg cases for storage.
  • Frozen meatballs were supplied to meals producers.
  • Meals were assembled against a revised specification and after several iterations, the meals were finalised to include meatballs, sauces and a complement such as rice and pasta, in response to the "voice of the consumer".
  • Sites for vending machines were identified and all electronic payments systems with funds transfer introduced in the vending machines at specific trial locations.
  • Meals were assembled and sold or given as samples using vending machines in Australia, UK, Belgium and Germany over the period of the trial.
  • Off shore meal producer have been engaged and trials in UK, Belgium and Germany were conducted. In each case, pre- and post-delivery inspection of vending units was conducted prior to placement of each machine at location.
  • Consumers' acceptance and profiling trials have been conducted including voice of customer as well as assessment of attitudes towards ready meals and vending.
  • Adding a complement and operational needs to store bulk product in frozen form adds to the costs; however, the economies of scale and avoiding set up costs by processing small batches in short runs gives significant savings.
  • The option to produce meals using frozen meatballs from stock into finished meals is the more cost-effective option and trials have been concluded with costings using both Simple StepsTM and Micvac packaging.
  • Consumer response has been positive. A qualitative assessment of VOC (Voice of the Consumer) has been made based on direct feedback at two exhibitions (Brussels Food Expo and IFFA).
  • The choice of meals, ease of use and dependability of the total process including equipment performance have been considered. Overall the response had been overwhelmingly positive.
  • Potential enquiries for the installation sites and operating licenses have been received from a significant number of companies and individuals who have seen and have had experience of using it in an exhibition environment.


Title Size Date published
2.7MB 15/02/2018


Contract No. Title Start date End date Funding type
Frews Lamb Meat in Cooked Meals for Direct Sale (stage 2)
01/01/2016 08/05/2017

This page was last updated on 15/02/2018