Finnish food group Atria has announced plans to establish a new production unit for the manufacture of home meal replacement products due to strong growth in the market for ready meals.

The unit will be established in Karkkila and will operate as part of Atria Oy’s Meat Products and Convenience Food Industries.

The unit’s main products will be various pre-made meal solutions, such as over-the-counter products, pre-prepared portions and bread products.

Atria said the unit will go into production by the beginning of 2005. It is expected that it will initially employ 20-30 people in its production operations.

Atria, whose brands include Atria, Chick, Duke´s, Forssan, Lithells, Sibylla, Fyrkanten, Grillköket and Vilniaus Mesa, is the biggest company in the meat business in Finland and the largest manufacturer of meat products in the Nordic countries and the Baltic area.