Oreo biscuits are being made in the UK for the first time, following the opening last week of a new £6m production line in Sheffield.

Owners Mondelēz International said the investment will safeguard 70 jobs at the site, which also produces Trebor, Maynards and Bassetts confectionery.

Maurizio Brusadelli, president of the UK and Ireland at Mondelēz International, said the investment indicated the importance of the UK as a manufacturing base. “We know that Britain is a nation of biscuit lovers – it is currently the biggest biscuit market in EU.

“In addition, our Sheffield factory is currently the largest sugar confectionery plant in Europe, and our employees here have the manufacturing expertise we need to turn their hands from sweets to biscuits. This investment is a first step - we hope to follow it with further investment and innovation in biscuits.”

David Blunkett, MP for Sheffield Brightside and Hillsborough, opened the facility. “I am pleased that Oreos will now be manufactured in Sheffield,” he said. “The additional investment and commitment to training are particularly welcome at a time of such great uncertainty for our economy.”

Oreo is the number one biscuit brand in the world, worth £1.3bn globally and £22m in the UK. Sales in the UK are growing 22% year on year, the company said. Later in the year the site will also start to produce BelVita Breakfast Biscuits.