Weetabix set for £30m investment

Posted on 31 Jan 2017 by Fred Tongue

Weetabix is set to invest £30m in its two manufacturing sites in the UK to increase capacity and create jobs.

The cereal giant has announced that it will plough £30m of investment into its sites at Burton Latimer and Corby in Northamptonshire. The announcement comes off the back of the company’s improved market share in the UK last year.

The company, which also owns the Alpen brands, saw market share increase from 15.3% to 16.4% over the past year. The investment is to help create new varieties and to help meet rising demand, according to a spokesperson.

Weetabix employs 1,100 people in the UK, 800 of which are on the manufacturing side. The investment will create jobs but the number it will create has not been specified.

Despite the growth that the business has experienced over the past 12 months, it is believed that the Chinese owners of the company, Bright Food, want to sell the cereal manufacturer. Several buyers are in the offing to purchase the 84-year-old business, which is expected to fetch at least £1.5bn.

Giles Turrel, chief executive of Weetabix Food Company said: “The most important thing is we’re increasing investment in our core plants at Burton Latimer and Corby. What it will also do is give us incremental capacity for new products, and we’re going to phase that in over the next couple of years. There will be additional jobs associated, particularly with the new capacity that we bring in.”

The firm currently produces 80 million wheat biscuits every week at its Burton Latimer site in Northamptonshire. The firm also exports to over 80 countries and employs 1,800 people globally.

It isn’t all good news for Weetabix though, the firm has threatened that it may have to increase prices due to the weakening pound. The firm has said that, if prices are to go up, it will be in “the low single digits” and Turrel said that it would be as a “last resort”.