SINGAPORE (Mar 11): SATS plans to tap the rising demand for ready-to-eat meals.

The airport ground handling and airline catering services provider says it will start a $25 million kitchen and food technology business that can preserve nutritional qualities and optimise taste while extending shelf life.

It will initially cater to airlines, but SATS plans to later sell food and snacks minus added preservatives to consumers under its Country Foods brand.

SATS shares are down 0.8% at $5.05 amid market weakness but have gained 8.4% so far this year.