UK burger boom sees £4.4m investment in buns

Posted on 3 May 2018 by Jonny Williamson

Lantmännen Unibake UK, one of the UK’s leading bakery goods suppliers, announces a £4.4m investment into its Milton Keynes factory, as part of the company’s ongoing growth plans.

The investment, as a reaction to the burger market boom, includes a state-of-the-art automated packaging system.

The first stage of improvements comes with an investment of £1.1m into the company’s bun line capability which produces Lantmännen Unibake UK’s Americana brand and own label fast food breads, with more updates to come later in the year.

The factory upgrades are in direct response to growth in the burger market, and Lantmännen Unibake’s dedication to meeting increasing consumer and customer demand for high quality baked goods.

Tim Robinson, managing director at Lantmännen Unibake UK, said: “This investment is a key part of our ongoing growth plans and reflects the growth in the burger market. Not only is the UK burger market currently worth £3.3bn, but its popularity continues to grow, with growth in 2017 up by 3%.

“To meet this demand, and ensure our customers are able to continue serving their customers on-trend, gourmet and quality classic buns, we are investing in our production capabilities – with this upgraded line being the first step of many.”

The changes to the line include a state-of-the-art automated packaging system and quality vision system, which will ensure higher quality standards are met whilst reducing wastage.

10% capacity boost 

This new equipment is already up and running in the factory, enhancing production capabilities. The largest improvement is an increase in capacity – the new technology has boosted total capacity by approximately 10% – significantly growing the tonnage produced each week.

The burger market evolution and popularity of burgers on menus has led to customers having higher expectations of their overall burger meal. Customers are also increasingly demanding higher quality from their burger bun.

Reportedly, 83% of pubs and restaurateurs and 84% of consumers agreeing that a high-quality bun is a key characteristic of a gourmet burger, and consumers willing to pay, on average, up to £1.25 more for their burger to come in a gourmet bun.

All Lantmännen Unibake’s classic buns are made using a traditional American sponge and dough method to give a distinctive flavour and texture – unique to Lantmännen Unibake UK.

All Americana products are supplied frozen and pre-sliced, meaning outlets can use them as and when needed, quickly and easily, with minimal wastage and optimum freshness.

Richard Stowey, operations director at Lantmännen Unibake, UK said: “Operationally, this investment allows us to simultaneously increase our capacity and optimise our product quality for our customers, who will shortly be seeing the benefits.”