The world’s leading manufacturer of high value-added speciality vegetable oils is serving markets across the world and pioneering food technology from the banks of the Humber.
AAK UK operates one of the country’s largest edible oil refineries on a 12-acre site at the Port of Hull, and employs more than 300 people. AAK turns oil into more than 300 different products for the food manufacturing, baking, foodservice and retail industries.
The company processes up to 300,000 tonnes of oil every year, much of it sustainable palm oil imported from Indonesia and Malaysia. The port-side location on the Humber, the UK’s busiest port complex, enables AAK to handle these huge quantities of raw material, as well as exporting about 20 per cent of its Hull production by sea via the estuary to more than 35 countries.
With a focus on exports, they work closely with sister sites in Merksem, Zaandijk, Karlshamn and Aarhus to supply global food manufacturers with bakery fats and chocolate alternatives.
With their Danish colleagues AAK UK have developed Tropicao, an innovative solution to the problem of “fat bloom” in chocolate in warm climates. The product is exported throughout the world, and recently won an innovation award at the Food Ingredients Europe exhibition in Paris.
The Foodservice team works with a number of leading food service businesses across Europe, such as Ikea and Burger King, while their extensive retail business is driven by AAK’s International Collection brand of speciality oils, selling largely to Japan, the US and Europe.
Being centrally located in the UK is also a major advantage to AAK as it enables the company to reach customers across the country within a few hours. AAK supplies just about every food business in the UK, either directly or indirectly.
Damian Taylor explains…
“Our overall objective is to forge strong, mutually rewarding partnerships with our customers. Rather than simply supplying a standard ingredient, in bulk, to meet a specific pre-determined requirement, we work closely with customers as their co-development partner and make a valuable contribution to their business.
“Our customers are under huge pressure to improve nutritional profile, find efficiencies and cut costs. We have invested heavily in people, processes and equipment to ensure that we can help them to do just that. Our overriding aim is to produce value adding vegetable oil solutions.
A great example of this in action is AAK’s partnership with Premier Foods. Just over two years ago, AAK beat stiff competition to become Premier Foods’ exclusive supplier of oils and fats. Premier is the UK’s largest food manufacturer and the company behind brands including Ambrosia, Bisto and Mr Kipling.
It has turned out to be a successful and mutually rewarding partnership. AAK’s Customer Innovation team has worked with Premier to develop new products, improve existing ones and find ways to manufacture them more efficiently. As a result, Premier named AAK its Supplier of the Year.
KFC described AAK as “the unsung hero in our restaurants” when naming them Supplier of the Year 2015, thanks to their work in developing new products to meet changing customer needs and to support the business’s brand. At the same time, AAK’s foodservice team has also been declared Supplier of the Year by Bidvest (formerly 3663), the UK’s largest foodservice distributor. The Hull team, together with colleagues at AAK’s second manufacturing facility in Runcorn, supply over 70 products to Bidvest.
“It’s no longer enough simply to supply goods,” says Damian. “At AAK our priority is to work side-by-side with customers and provide real value to their businesses.”