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HelloFresh opens automated distribution centre in Derby

Image © RKP Photography

Automation enables customers to replace meat for plant-based alternatives or customise portions

Recipe box subscription firm HelloFresh has celebrated the opening of its latest flagship facility in Derby, with its automated production lines designed to provide customers even more choice and the ability to personalise their meals.

The site will also use predictive algorithms and technology to improve inventory management processes, reduce waste, and ultimately deliver ingredients that are fresher than ever.

Adam Park, HelloFresh UK CEO, said: “We have invested for over two years to build our latest automated production technology in Derby, particularly due to its incredibly diverse and skilled talent pool.

“This site and its cutting-edge technology will allow handling of great complexity in our production to give customers even more choice, while creating hundreds of jobs and opportunities for talented people in the local area to build skills and careers in a growing space.”

Named ‘The Windmill’, the facility has created around 300 jobs for the local community, with more expected in the coming months as it ramps up production.

Additionally, in keeping with HelloFresh’s commitment to a more sustainable future, The Windmill has been developed in partnership with SmartParc SEGRO Derby, a low-carbon food manufacturing campus in Spondon, Derby, to be one of the most sustainable production facilities in the country. Features include a rainwater harvesting system, a 22 MVA rooftop solar panel array, and a shared heating and cooling system which recycles heat from refrigeration plants and reuses it to heat water and offices across the estate.

The site achieved an ‘Excellent’ BREEAM rating for its energy efficiency and will derive 100% of its energy from renewable sources. It will also have EV charging spaces, local bus services that are aligned with production times and provide secure bike storage (alongside a cycle-to-work scheme) to further reduce local emissions while supporting its employees.

Park added: “Derby’s great connectivity also means we can provide an even better delivery experience for our UK customers with 80% of customers now being within a four-hour drive of where the product is made.

“All-in-all, we are delighted to be in Derby and look forward to contributing to this great community as we partner on an exciting journey of growth and innovation we have planned for HelloFresh and Green Chef in the UK.” 

The DeliveryX Packaging 2023 report features an exclusive interview with HelloFresh. Tilman Eichstädt, COO upstream at HelloFresh, spoke to DeliveryX about how the meal-box subscription firm is rethinking packaging.

The digital report also looks at why ecommerce packaging is no longer simply about protecting goods in transit; what UK consumers think about oversized packaging, and the waste it generates; and could returnable packaging be the future of a more circular offering?

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