Burton’s Biscuit Company will invest £14.75m in its manufacturing operation to support business growth.
The investment is the largest in three consecutive years and will span across Burton’s manufacturing sites in Llantarnam, Blackpool and Edinburgh as well as a chocolate refinery in Moreton in the Wirral.
It will focus on innovative technology to guarantee quality, maximise output and facilitate the ramped up production of recent new development products.
The company, which produces market-leading brands such as Wagon Wheels, Maryland Cookies and Jammie Dodgers, invested £13.75m in its supply chain in 2013 and £12.5m in 2012.
Building the launch of Burton’s savoury lines Cathedral City Baked Bites and Fish ‘n’ Chips, the investment will further develop the company’s snacks expertise. It will also invets in its Cookie Centre of Excellence at Blackpool to enable it to produce cookie variants for other countries.
Following a succesful pilot, the company will roll out industry first control room technology, which monitors the baking process in real time, to all sites in 2014.
Neil Grocock, chief supply chain officer for Burtons, said: “This increased investment in our manufacturing capabilities is a driving force behind the company’s ambitions to expand the footprint of its Power Brands – domestically and internationally - through new products and formats, as well as expanding our distribution base.
“We’re launching some of the most innovative products in the marketplace, and investing in our capabilities enables us to bring these new products to market quicker than any other company in the market.”
Other initiatives include investment in new packaging capabilities to meet the growing demand for snacks on the go such as portion packs, providing consumers with convenient calorie-controlled choices.
At the end of 2013 Burton’s was sold to Canadian pension scheme Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (OTPP) for a sum believed to be in the region of £350m.
OTPP acquired the business as a whole, including all of brands, all of the rights under Burton’s Cadbury licence and Burton’s manufacturing sites in Blackpool, Edinburgh and Llantarnam, and chocolate refinery in Moreton.