Burton’s ups UK investment to £40m in three years

Food manufacturer Burton’s Biscuits has announced an additional £14.75m manufacturing technology investment in its UK sites taking its total British business investment over three years to £40m.

The most recent investment from Burton’s will be spread across all of its UK sites which include manufacturing facilities in Llantarnam, Blackpool, and Edinburgh as well as a chocolate refinery in Moreton.

The money will be spent on new production technologies to increase capacity and the capability to incorporate new products while maintaining quality.

Burton’s is the second largest biscuit manufacturer in the UK – after United Biscuits – and is responsible for making popular brands including Wagon Wheels, Maryland Cookies, which was recently named the UK’s favourite cookie – and Jammie Dodgers. It also holds the licence for production of Cadbury biscuits.

More recently, Burton’s has ventured into the production of more savoury snacks including Cathedral City Baked Bites and Fish ‘n’ Chips.

The announcement of this £14.75m technology investment adds to £26.25m of supply chain investment throughout 2012 and 2013. It also follows on from significant investment in workforce training and development including the establishment of a national apprenticeship programme.

Some of the latest investment will be spent on rolling out control room technology, piloted at Llantarnam, to other UK sites.

At the time the Llantarnam control room was installed it was considered to be the first such food and drink application of the technology in the UK.

The control room monitors baking processes using advanced sensors and data visualisation in order to increase product consistency and quality while reducing waste.

Other parts of the increased UK investment will go towards increasing flexibility and creativity in packaging equipment to accommodate growing demand for snacks on the go and portion packs, which give consumers convenient, calorie-controlled choices.

Neil Grocock, chief supply chain officer at Burton’s Biscuit Company said that the increased investment will provide a driving force behind growth for the company’s “power brands” both domestically and internationally.

“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,” he commented.

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.