The venture represents Cawingredients' chief executive Andrew Cawthray's re-entry into the soft drinks category, after selling his firm, Macaw Soft Drinks, to the Cott Corporation in 2005 for £76m. Macaw had been the UK's largest independent manufacturer of retailer own-label polyethylene terephthalate bottled carbonated soft drinks, second only to Cott with 25% volume share in 2004, according to Competition Commission data.
Cawingredients will square off against the top three players in own-label soft drinks by volume, with Cott top, Princes second and Silver Spring third, according to Zenith International. Cawthray declined to comment on his commercial plans.
Production of own-label bottled, carbonated soft drinks began in February at the facility in Leeming Bar, which makes soft drinks from raw materials, and it is already supplying its product to major UK customers.
Planning permission for the factory, which houses production and bottling facilities, offices and a research and development department, was granted in January last year.
The site also has a 6,689sqm warehouse and features include the use of Vubascreed Ultra, a hygienic resin flooring system covering the production area installed by Vuba Resin Flooring.
"This is one of the many prestigious food industry projects that we have worked on since inception," said Vuba md, Sean Scott.