Meal Service business area

Profitable growth through focus on sales, unique concepts, and purchasing activities

The Meal Service business area offers food packaging concepts and serving products for, e.g. take-away, fresh ready to eat food, and catering. Customers mainly comprise companies operating within the restaurant, catering or food production industries. Duni enjoys a leading position in the Nordic region and has a clear growth agenda on selected markets in Europe.

Sales amounted to SEK 555 (509) m. At fixed exchange rates, this corresponds to an increase in sales of 6.3%. Most of the markets on which Meal Service operates demonstrated growth during the year.

Operating income was SEK 19 (13) m and the operating margin was 3.5% (2.5%). The cost efficiency measures implemented at the end of 2013 and in 2014 have played an important role in improving the operating margin. The business area accounted for approximately 13% (13%) of Duni’s net sales during the period.

The business area’s strategy in brief:

  • To develop, in a flexible manner, unique solutions that solve the customers’ problems and meet their needs.
  • To seek larger contracts generating increased sales and improved cost efficiency.
  • To reduce the number of suppliers to its own purchasing organization in order to achieve more favorable purchasing prices and closer dialogue concerning innovation and development.

One of Meal Service’s most important success factors lies in constantly being at the forefront with customized solutions and unique concepts. Maintaining a leading position demands a high pace of innovation. A large part of the products are purchased externally, and the strategy is to purchase from suppliers who are flexible and have a correct cost structure.

Geographically, Meal Service is exhibiting growth in large parts of Europe. On the handful of markets which experienced weaker growth in 2014, it is important to return to profitable growth. This is particularly true as regards our domestic market of Sweden, which is the business area’s largest market. In the rest of the Nordic region, there was positive sales growth in Norway, Finland and Denmark. In Eastern Europe, growth is being felt first and foremost in Poland, while in Central Europe Germany, Austria and Switzerland developed well, driven by customized solutions and take-away. In Western Europe, the Benelux countries in particular have demonstrated solid growth. In Southern Europe, Italy and Spain have performed very well, driven by the business area having invested in additional sales personnel in order to take advantage of the expanding take-away market.

Focus areas for profitable growth

Meal Service has focused on four areas in order to achieve profitable growth, and will continue to do so in 2015. It will develop unique concepts that solve the customers’ challenges and problems. Customized solutions have grown by 13%, among other things through increased cooperation with the global restaurant chain Vapiano, which has been a key customer for several years.Here are some examples of products which meet the need for solutions with a reduced carbon footprint:

  • New groundbreaking tray series manufactured of plant-based bioplastic within the Duniform sealing concept.
  • The environmentally adapted ecoecho™ offering, with a broad range of products made from, for example, renewable or recycled material, as well as compostable products.

Sales focus and efficiency. Meal Service has its own sales organization focused on the business area’s products. The focused sales force has been an important contributory factor to the solid growth seen in 2014. In addition, the strategy has been to focus on larger customers and contracts, which in addition to driving growth also drive improved cost efficiency.

Purchasing. Among other things, it is important to reduce the number of suppliers in order to become a larger partner, with the aim of thereby obtaining the best possible purchasing price over the life cycle of a product. It is also important to improve innovation and product development in close cooperation with suppliers and Duni’s category organization.

Culture of constant improvements. All employees within Meal Service have a responsibility to point out problems and improve procedures. This may, for example, involve incorrect pricing or cumbersome delivery flows.

Trends affecting the business area’s growth

Meal Service’s market is primarily affected by four general trends:

Mobile lifestyle. The boundaries between day-to-day activities are becoming blurred. People are living on the go, thereby increasing the need for take-away solutions. The trend towards take-away restaurants gaining market shares at the expense of full-service restaurants is continuing across Europe.

From ‘fast food’ to ‘good food fast’. 10 years ago, fast-food was junk food. Now, an accelerating ‘premiumization’ is underway. A clear example of this is provided by Melker Andersson’s Swedish hamburger chain Vigårda, with its use of improved quality raw materials, ecological meat and handmade french fries. The average price increases, and the packaging must reflect this.

There is increased demand for packaging with an environmental profile. In pace with the growth of environmentally conscious restaurant concepts such as Dean & David in Germany, there is an increased demand for solutions with a reduced carbon footprint. This is leading to changes in purchasing patterns, which Duni is addressing with its environmentally adapted ecoecho range, which has grown by 30% during the year.

The boundary between stores and restaurants is being blurred. Grocery stores are competing with restaurants by selling fresh, ready to eat food; stores are employing their own cooks who prepare food to be sold in the store. The market hall of old is back, but with a new appearance, for example, the Italian Eataly, which is rapidly conquering the world. Fresh, ready to eat food destined to stand attractively on a shelf or in a display case requires new packaging, to which Duni provides an answer with solutions such as Duniform.


“Goodfoodmood® means that we now have a brand platform for Duni as a whole. Our focus is on food and drink, and we assist in enhancing the experience. Our customer groups are at the forefront of the trend and Goodfoodmood makes us modern, with a graphic and design language which our customers recognize.”

Linus Lemark, Director business area Meal Service

Net sales and operating income, SEK m
Net sales per product group, %
Net sales per geographic region, %

Customer categories


Events and catering

Fast Food

Public sector