Colruyt Group Fine Food opens new Fine Food Salads production site in Halle, strengthening its independent position in the market
Colruyt Group Fine Food is opening a new, future-oriented and sustainable site in Halle for the production and packaging of salad spreads. The new 4,200 m² site enables Fine Food to respond even better to the evolving needs of consumers and to make the packaging of its salad spreads more sustainable. Fine Food Salads currently employs 45 people and produces around 55 tonnes of salad spreads and sauces every week. These are available under the brands Boni Selection and Everyday at OKay and Colruyt Lowest Prices.
The brand-new Fine Food Salads production hall, built on the Stroppen site in Halle, aims to accommodate the growth of the Colruyt and OKay shops and to be independent in the market. The new production site also offers space for innovative ranges and innovations. The production hall is equipped to respond to new products that meet evolving consumer needs, such as vegan spreads, in addition to the existing range of salad spreads (on the basis of meat, fish and vegetables). Fine Food Salads will also develop activities on the new site to make its products even tastier and healthier (including a better Nutri-Score). Food safety is high on the agenda. The latest technology is used, including room disinfection with sprinkler and automatic label control via an intelligent camera system. Finally, they go a step further in making the packaging more sustainable.
“With the new site, we are positioning ourselves more strongly as an independent player. We retain control over the entire production chain and focus on innovative assortments, healthy products and delicious flavours,” says Gunter Uyttenhove, director of Colruyt Group Fine Food. “This new site is an important investment for Fine Food and proves Colruyt Group's belief in making a difference with its own products and craftsmanship. Tens of thousands of customers buy our salads every week. We now have all the technical possibilities to further fine-tune our production and to go all the way for sustainability.” Fine Food Salads currently employs 45 people, and a further ten jobs are expected next year. The employees of the existing sites were very closely involved in the construction of this new production hall and were informed in a transparent manner. At the new site, for example, the staff will have more space and their working environment will be more ergonomic.
Colruyt Group aims to make all household packaging of its private label products reusable, recyclable, compostable or biodegradable by 2025. Therefore, when the new site was launched, the design of the current salad spread container was reviewed, with a view to reducing the amount of plastic and minimising food losses. Thanks to the new packaging lines, 45.5 tonnes of plastic are saved on an annual basis. In the new design, the sides of the container are thinner, no more seal but a lid with a click system (for better ease of use) and an adapted shape for maximum spooning. The container is made of material that can be 100% recycled via the blue bag. Because the container can be emptied to the maximum, there’s a smaller chance of residues and the recycling process will be less trouble afterwards. Finally, the labels are kept small to ensure good visibility of the product and an optimal course of the recycling process.
Colruyt Group has already built up a solid track record in sustainable construction, this building is another example of this. There are 828 solar panels on the roof (in sunny weather accounting for a quarter of the site's energy consumption), the site is connected to Fine Food’s internal water purification system and rainwater is also collected and reused. The surface area of the site is used to the maximum due to the sloping loading docks to optimise the arrival and departure of the trucks. A central power rail running through the site shortens cable lengths and facilitates the installation of new machines or any redevelopment of the site.
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About Colruyt Group
Colruyt Group operates in the food and non-food distribution sector in Belgium, France and Luxembourg, with more than 600 own stores and over 580 affiliated stores. In Belgium, this includes Colruyt, OKay, Bio-Planet, Cru, Dreamland, Dreambaby, Bike Republic and the affiliated Spar. In France, in addition to Colruyt stores, there are also affiliated Coccinelle, Coccimarket and Panier Sympa stores. The group is majority shareholder of The Fashion Society, which includes the fashion retail chains ZEB, PointCarré, The Fashion Store and ZEB For Stars. JIMS operates fitness clubs in Belgium and Luxembourg. Solucious and Culinoa deliver foodservice and retail products to professional customers in Belgium (hospitals, SMEs, hospitality sector, etc.). The other activities comprise the energy supply by DATS 24 in Belgium (fuels, natural gas and green energy), printing and document management solutions (Symeta Hybrid) and the production of green energy (Eoly). The group employs over 32.000 employees and recorded a EUR 9,9 billion revenue in 2020/21. Colruyt is listed on Euronext Brussels (COLR) under ISIN code BE0974256852.