Established for over 40 years, KTC (Edibles) Ltd is the UK’s largest private manufacturer and distributor of high quality oils and fats, supplying over 250 million litres a year to the food industry. In addition, the company also manufactures or distributes a wide array of ethnic and mainstream food products supplying manufacturers, retailers and wholesalers throughout the United Kingdom and the rest of the world. KTC operates from a purpose built factory in Wednesbury and a second plant in Liverpool, with both manufacturing sites Grade A accredited by the British Retail Consortium.
The KTC story began in 1971 when the business was founded by Jernail Khera and his son, Santokh. Shortly afterwards, Santokh’s brother, Jindy, joined the fledging family business after graduating from university; setting in place the triumvirate that would drive KTC onto such success.
Like so many great businesses, KTC was the result of great entrepreneurial spirit, which was fully delivered when the partnership spotted a gap in the market. The business-minded family knew there was demand amongst the burgeoning Asian community in the UK for speciality oils such as mustard and almond oil, but availability of these types of products was poor. Although the Khera family had limited resources, they had a belief in the idea and began packing and supplying these oils to local grocers. The need was certainly there and the family worked really hard to make and supply these products.
Jindy Khera, Managing Director at KTC (Edibles) Ltd, commented: “I remember saying at the time that if we get to do a full tanker, we’ll be doing really well. In just a couple of months of starting we were doing half a tanker every two weeks, and today the company does 2-3 tankers an hour!”
Jindy continued: “KTC has spent a generation building up the business and at its heart it still has the same ethos that it did in the beginning, bringing superb quality and authentic ingredients to the UK at a good price. We work closely with farmers and suppliers across the globe to ensure that quality is always at the forefront. KTC is a household name amongst the Asian and Caribbean community in the UK because these discerning shoppers know it’s a name they can trust.
Best known for manufacturing and supplying high quality cooking oils, KTC also offer in excess of 300 food products including pulses, tomatoes, olive oil, gram flour, spices and lentils.
Jindy commented: “Some of the new products we are most excited about under our flagship KTC brand include our extra virgin olive oil, brick pack dals and lentils and top quality virgin coconut oil. Under our Suncrest drinks brand we have recently added canned sparkling juice drinks in two delicious flavours – passion and mango, as well as Suncrest Celebration sparkling grape juice drinks.”
Asked to discuss plans for the future of the business, Paresh Mehta, Commercial Director at KTC (Edibles) Ltd commented: “KTC still sees one of its major roles as providing good quality and affordable ingredients to Britain’s diverse ethnic communities but with the introduction of speciality products the business is strongly placed to increase its popularity with mainstream shoppers too.
KTC has enjoyed a very busy 2014, as Britain’s appetite for authentic ethnic cuisine seems unabated. The demand for ever more authentic, healthy ingredients, that are good quality as well as good value, is on the rise. Britain’s love affair with ready meals seems to be waning, as people want to try their hand at creating their favourite meals from around the globe themselves.
KTC boasts a wide and varied product portfolio that offers real value to consumers whether they shop in the independents or the multiples. Shoppers are becoming more health conscious and wanting to try and cook more from scratch and KTC is well placed to service this trend. As well as healthy pulses and tinned tomatoes, another stand out success story this year has undoubtedly been KTC’s Coconut oils, not only for adding authenticity to the likes of Indonesian and Thai dishes but also because it is being hailed a new super food.
The food industry is like the fashion industry in many ways and although KTC will always offer the core staples we are known for, we are constantly looking to inspire and help the UK look at new products just like we were in the 1970s. It is strange to think that in the 1970s to the average British household spaghetti Bolognese was seen as the height of culinary daring and now Indian Food is Britain’s national dish and we like to think we have played our part in that. We are dedicated to helping all the UK explore the exciting world of food.
KTC is a company that is always exploring new angles and opportunities and we like to bring consumers authentic products. Recently, we have seen people really embrace our Virgin Coconut Oil with all its amazing health benefits. We are also always investing in cutting-edge technologies in order to improve our operation, processes and infrastructure.
Paresh comments “One area in which we are really concentrating our efforts at the moment is advertising, in an effort to really reinforce our positioning to consumers from all walks of life. We have a new marketing campaign that is going across consumer press, outdoor, TV and cinema which simply says ‘as easy as KTC’, because with our ingredients and recipes, people will find creating healthy and nutritious meals at affordable prices is ‘as easy as KTC.”
Tel: 0121 505 9200