Leaders of the pack

ConfoilWhen you’re producing and packaging hundreds of meals every week, it’s hard to make them look appealing. That was the problem WindMeals coordinator, Sue Pyper, had faced for some time.

WindMeals is part of the not-for-profit DutchCare community organisation, that runs aged care facilities and services throughout Melbourne for retirement living, home care and residential care. Its 10 staff produce approximately 75,000 meals a year in a kitchen that operates 10 hours each day, four days a week. They needed a system that could automate the packaging of meals and make the process of packing and sealing meal trays more efficient.

“We were using foil trays with cardboard covers, but I felt these were impersonal as you couldn’t see the food and were not that attractive,” Sue Pyper says. “We wanted an environmentally-friendly solution and one that would have a high return on investment.”

Confoil introduced WindMeals to its range of Oliver paperboard trays and automated sealing machinery. The benchtop sealer can comfortably package 300 meals per day and reduce meal preparation hours. The trays come in single or multi-cavity sizes and can be recycled. They are HACCP certified and accredited under the Aged Care Standards.

Before deciding on the Confoil Pack and Seal system, WindMeals sent out samples to customers and surveyed them to gauge their response. “Feedback was very positive,” Pyper confirms. “Customers found it very user friendly. I don’t think there has ever been a negative comment on the actual container. Plus, it is recyclable.”

Operationally, WindMeals is benefiting from the Confoil system through better control of wastage. “It’s a direct benefit because we know how much labour is needed for how long to produce the stock that’s on the menu that week or month. If we do happen to have excess product, we can label and distribute it in containers to send to our sites,” says Pyper.

The benefits to WindMeals in using the Confoil system include:

  • Faster meal processing, which saves time and money.
  • Meals can be stacked on top of each other, saving freezer and van space.
  • The equipment is simple to use with just an on/off switch so technical staff or specialised training isn’t required.
  • Using the Confoil system allows WindMeals to run the kitchen four days a week, which reduces overheads.
  • Ordering via the website has grown since it went online last year and because of the automated sealing system, WindMeals has been able to handle the increased business.
  • A very pleasing return on investment.

To find out more, go online to www.confoil.com.au.

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