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Type Privately held company
Founded 1958
Founders Karl Düsterberg
Headquarters Rheine, Germany
Products food
Employees 8,902 (2012)
Website http://www.apetito.com

apetito is a European frozen food company which started in post-war Germany. They currently operate in Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Canada and France and employ over 8,902 people.[citation needed][1] They are the main providers of "meals on wheels" for local authorities in the UK,[2] and were given a Queen's Award for Enterprise in 2005.


The company was founded by Karl Düsterberg in 1958 in Rheine, Germany as "apetito Ready Meals" producing frozen ready meals for retail and business canteens, schools, nurseries and the German Meals on Wheels service. The company started expanding out of Germany in 1989 when "apetito B.V" was founded in the Netherlands. In 1991 the company set up "apetito (UK) Limited" in Sevenoaks, UK, and by 2001 had acquired "Nord Restauration S.H." and "Orlysienne du Nord" in France. Business outside of Germany now accounts for approx 25% of apetito’s total turnover,[3] though the company's headquarters are still in Rheine, Germany.

Meals on wheels[edit]

The meals on wheels schemes organised by local councils in UK deliver 40 million or 77,000 meals every week to 200,000 people.[4] Of these, apetito produces 900,000 meals and puddings a week or 47 million a year.[5]

Wiltshire Farm Foods[edit]

Main article: Wiltshire Farm Foods

apetito operates a private frozen meal delivery service — Wiltshire Farm Foods. The company, originally named "The Waldens Wiltshire Foods Limited" and based in Trowbridge, was purchased by apetito in 1995. Wiltshire Farm Foods specialise in delivering frozen ready meals to private customers throughout the United Kingdom.[6]

The company offers over 200 different ready to reheat frozen meals, including vegetarian, gluten-free, and diabetic. The service is intended mainly for elderly or disabled people, but can be used by anybody who would prefer to have meals delivered direct to their home.[7]

Wiltshire Farm Foods deliveries are largely carried out by franchisees.[8]

Copper County Foods[edit]

Copper County Foods is the Canadian franchise of Wiltshire Farm Foods. It incorporated on June 25, 2008, and commenced selling franchises in June 2009. The Copper County Foods franchise network is in its infancy in Canada with the Ontario market currently under development.[9]

Copper County Foods delivers meals, soups and desserts directly to the home. Their products are developed to cater to special dietary needs, and can be ordered online, by phone, or with the delivery driver. Product listings are colour-coded and tagged with symbols indicating if a meal is diabetic friendly, low in sodium, fat or calories. They also have meals for diets free of renal,[clarification needed] gluten and lactose, as well as pureed and minced meals.[10]


apetito's first TV marketing campaign started on 6 November 2006, showing commercials on every private television station in Germany. Advertisements in England have also been aired.

Awards and nominations[edit]

The company were given a Queen's Award for Enterprise in 2005 for outstanding achievements in innovation in regard to provision of food to the elderly.[11]

They were nominated for two awards in 2008, one for corporate responsibility from ICAEW, the other for business innovation from IMechE.[12]

apetito Canada was awarded the Brampton Outstanding Business Achievement Award in 2010 in the Food & Beverage category.[13]


  1. ^ http://www.apetito.de/ueber-apetito/presse/Documents/Geschaeftsbericht.pdf
  2. ^ "Meals on wheels changes hard to swallow". Richmond and Twickenham Times. 18 July 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-25. 
  3. ^ Our History, apetito Group. Retrieved on 3 September 2008.
  4. ^ Marrissa-Catherine Carrarini (28 March 2008). "Meals on wheels for the more well-heeled". London: Timesonline.co.uk. Retrieved 2008-11-25. 
  5. ^ "Meals on wheels in Paris and Peterborough". CatererSearch. 2003-09-01. Retrieved 2009-03-03. 
  6. ^ "Wiltshire Farm Foods - (SEO) Case Study". Coastdigital.co.uk. Retrieved 2008-11-25. 
  7. ^ Guide-information Gloucestershire, 31 May 2007. Retrieved on 3 September 2008.
  8. ^ "Wiltshire Farm Foods Franchise Opportunities". Retrieved 2010-07-06. [dead link]
  9. ^ Copper County Foods.
  10. ^ Copper County Foods.
  11. ^ Queens Award Winners 2005, queensawards.org.uk
  12. ^ Becky Paskin, Hotels to score big at National Business Awards, 1 Sep 2008, bighospitality.co.uk. Retrieved on 3 September 2008.
  13. ^ Brampton Business Achievement Awards, brampton.ca

External links[edit]