Kraft Heinz to invest US$200 million in UK food facility

By Kate Birch
Investment in this new food facility in the UK is Kraft Heinz’s largest manufacturing move outside the United States for two decades

Food giant Kraft Heinz has said it plans to invest US$200m in increasing and upgrading production at is UK-based manufacturing facility at Kitt Green – the largest food processing plant in Europe.

Producing 1.3 billion cans of food each year, 94% of which is consumed in the UK, the North West-based facility will also produce Heinz Ketchup, Salad Cream and Mayonnaise – previously made at its facility in the Netherlands after leaving UK shores in 1999.

The move is seen as a boost for Britain’s post-Brexit ambitions and represents Kraft Heinz’s largest investment outside of the United States in 20 years.

The funds would be used to modernise the manufacturing capabilities of the site over the next four years, adding additional European capacity.

“The US is a key trading partner and we are committed to striking an ambitious trade deal that opens up new opportunities for our businesses, brings in more investment and creates better jobs for people across the whole of the country,” said UK Minister for Investment Gerry Grimstone.

Luis Spinardi, site director at Kitt Green, added: “As a result of this proposed investment, we are now in the fortunate position where Kitt Green can become a much more modern facility and our teams will have the ability to adopt more contemporary ways of working whilst exemplifying the highest global standards for food manufacturing.

“Not only are we excited to be expanding our product mix by bringing sauces back to the UK but also look forward to a more efficient facility with a sustainable future.”

New technology will aim to minimise the use of non-renewables and reduce the facility’s carbon footprint.

Kraft Heinz seeing solid sales growth in pandemic

The COVID-19 lockdowns have not affected business for Kraft Heinz, which saw surge in demand and subsequent shortage in supply for its tomato ketchup sachets which were increasingly used for the booming home delivery and takeaway markets.

At the end of April, Kraft Heinz’s Q1 2021 financial results showed solid sales growth across all business segments.

“Our first quarter was better than expected, with our team delivering strong results on top of exceptional growth last year,” said Kraft Heinz CEO Miguel Patricio.

“Looking forward, we will continue to focus on leveraging our tremendous scale by investing to improve our capabilities and overall agility. As we do, we believe we will come out of this period much stronger, operationally and financially, than we entered.”

Net sales increased 3.9% versus Q1 2020 period to US$6.4 billion. 2020 net sales totalled approximately US$26 billion.

 

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