apetito is a European frozen food company which started in post-war Germany. They currently serve markets in Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Canada and France and employ over 6,000 people. They are the main providers of "meals on wheels" for local authorities in the UK, 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, though the company's headquarters are still in Rheine, Germany.
The meals on wheels schemes organised by local councils in UK deliver 40 million meals every year to 200,000 people.Of these, apetito produces 900,000 meals and puddings a week.