The decision was taken because the firm needed better transport links in order to continue to grow, Sue Skinner director of human resources at Britvic told FoodManufacture.co.uk.
“In our last annual report, we clearly set out our strategy for growth, which is through organic growth in our operating territories and international expansion,” she said.
“Hemel Hempstead’s location and its links to key transport networks such as the M1 and M25, as well as Heathrow, makes is an obvious choice for our headquarters.”
The firm will replace some workers not transfering to the new location and recruit 30 more people to fill positions in head office roles such as finance, marketing and administrative support, she added.
“There are approximately 275 people currently based at, or regularly working at, Britvic head office. 85% of our employees will be transferring from the Chelmsford office,” Skinner said.
The firm has committed to supporting voluntary and community organisations in its new location.
Since 2007, it has worked with grant-making trust, Essex Community Foundation and will now look to expand grant offerings to include Hemel Hempstead. It will continue to offer grants around Chelmsford, a Britvic spokeswoman added.
Daniel Zammit, chief executive at Dacorum Borough Council, Hemel Hempstead said:“In the short term, Britvic’s move into the area brings some exciting new job opportunities and in the longer term, I am sure its presence in the area will be hugely beneficial for Hemel Hempstead, from employment through to their involvement in the local community.”
Meanwhile, the value of the soft drinks market rose 4% to reach £9.7bn - with a 1% increase in volume according to the Britvic Soft Drinks Report, based on data from market research group Nielsen.
Competitor Coca-Cola was the most popular take-home brand, showing 7% growth to reach £7bn last year.
Pepsi was the second best performer – registering a sales increase of £328.7M, up 10% on last year.
Britvic Soft Drinks Report at a glance
- Soft drink sales up 4% by value to £9.7bn.
- Take-home channel rose 7% by value.
- Red Bull sales rose 11% to £224.8M; making it the fifth most popular brand.
- Glucose and stimulants drinks market rose 17% in value to reach £791.8M.
- Cold hot-drinks category like iced coffee achieves sales of £21.6M.