apetito, the UK’s leading food producer for the health and social care sector, are delighted to have won the UK’s highest business accolade, The Queen’s Award for Enterprise in Innovation, for a second time.
The award has been made for their pioneering work in creating a world-leading range of texture modified meals (a range of softer foods), which have been specially developed for those living with dysphagia (the clinical term for individuals who experience chewing and swallowing difficulties).
Citing the fact that “apetito’s innovative texture modified range has had a ‘significant and positive’ impact on the wellbeing of its customers by helping to stimulate appetite and increase nutritional intake”, The Queen’s Awards praised the company’s track record of growth, success and commitment to its market.
Dysphagia impacts over 4 million people in the UK, across all ages, and is commonly associated with conditions such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, Motor Neurone, Multiple Sclerosis and Cerebral Palsy. Over 40% of stroke survivors, over 50% of those who have had head/neck cancers, and over 50% of nursing home residents suffer from dysphagia. It is increasingly common in the elderly population, due to age-weakening of the muscles or just poorly fitting dentures.
apetito’s key innovation surrounds the use of starches & plant extracts to create a range of meals, desserts, sandwiches and soups across the four different categories of prescribed textures, delivering the following:
SAFETY – Meals of correct and consistent textures reduce the risks of choking/aspiration, which can prove fatal. Those faced with attempting to blend food at home or in care find offering safe meals incredibly challenging.
NUTRITION – Individuals with dysphagia often eat poorly and are at risk of malnutrition, so it’s vital that their meals are highly nutritious, typically needing higher levels of calories and protein.
DINING WITH DIGNITY – The puréed meals are shaped to resemble “normal” food. Those living with dysphagia often talk of being embarrassed at eating what they describe as “blended baby food.” They avoid social situations, even choosing to eat separately from the rest of their family. The shaped meals allow them to eat with dignity. Having launched a range of 56 dishes back in 2010, this has now grown to over 150, with annual sales approximating £10m. apetito has just announced a new range, “Purée Petite” which has been formulated especially to cater for those with smaller appetites. The meals are 42% smaller than the regular puréed meals, but provide exactly the same amount of calories and protein, an industry-first.
Chief Executive, Paul Freeston said, “We are proud, honoured and delighted to have been recognised for a second time in The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise in Innovation; it is testament to the hard work, dedication and vision of our entire team. At apetito we are passionate about ‘making a real difference’ to people’s lives. Our softer foods range has helped thousands of people improve their quality of life, allowing them to eat safely and with dignity whilst increasing nutritional intake. It has brought back enjoyment into people’s mealtimes”.
apetito – which incorporates Wiltshire Farm Foods – first won The Queen’s Award for Enterprise in Innovation in 2005 for its development of the “Chefmobil”, which revolutionised the meals on wheels market by cooking meals whilst en route to customers rather than being prepared hours in advance in a central kitchen.