Prime Minister David Cameron has welcomed the creation of 30 new jobs at PepsiCo’s Quaker Oats factory in Scotland after the firm announced a £14.4M investment in the site, partly to meet increasing export demand.
Cameron visited the factory in Cupar, Fife yesterday (February 16) and backed the plans, which he described as a welcome example of PepsiCo’s commitment to the region and export markets.
He said: “Quaker and Scott's Porage Oats have a long heritage here in the UK and PepsiCo's further investment of £14.4M is a welcome example of its continued commitment to Cupar and to Britain.
"The firm’s continued success is testament to the skill, expertise and hard work of the people here at Cupar and I'm delighted to see the business going from strength-to-strength, expanding the site, creating jobs, and increasing their exports abroad."
PepsiCo confirmed that it has seen oats exports rise by 18% over the past five years, with increasing demand for the product in the Middle East.
The UK porridge market was now worth £157M, PepsiCo revealed. The hot cereal market has also grown by 30% over the past two years. The firm said that the nation’s appetite for porridge was a key factor in sales of its Oats So Simple sachets increasing 44% since 2010.
Richard Evans, PepsiCo president for the UK, Ireland and South Africa believed that the investment in the site would allow the firm to meet the increasing demand in the UK and abroad.
He said: “More and more people are eating porridge all year round and our investment at Cupar means we'll be able to satisfy the increasing demand at home and abroad for years to come".
"The porridge market has seen phenomenal growth and what's particularly interesting is that more and more people are opting for hot cereals for breakfast all year round – whatever the weather. Overseas demand for our oats is also increasing, and we see this as a key area for future growth. Quaker has been milling oats at Cupar since 1947 and we are very pleased to invest again in our site to protect its heritage and grow the Quaker Oats business."
The investment follows PepsiCo’s £8.5M investment in the site last year, taking the total spend to £51M over the past decade, the firm revealed.
Last week, the Scottish government predicted that Scottish exports would reach £12.5bn within five years , fuelled largely by soaring food and drink sales to the Middle East. Last year Scottish food and drink exports increased by 29% from £1.8bn to £2.4bn, compared with total exports valued at £10bn.