Zed Candy to move Oatfield confectionery to UK

By Freddie Dawson

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Confectionery Candy

Jawbreakers and other retro-style sweets helped Zed Candy achieve a turnover of £16.3M
Jawbreakers and other retro-style sweets helped Zed Candy achieve a turnover of £16.3M
Irish retro confectionery maker Zed Candy is to close its Letterkenny facility in County Donegal and transfer production of its Oatfield Sweets brand to Kettering in Northamptonshire.

Zed Candy, which had a turnover of £16.3M (€20M), has invested in its Kettering site in preparation for the move, said the firm.

The Kettering line can make more than 100t of toffees and hard candy a week, Garry Lawlor, Zed Candy’s operations manager, told FoodManufacture.co.uk.

New positions will be created at the Kettering site, although the final number will depend upon demand, he added.

Extra employment

Steven North, lead councillor for East Northamptonshire Council, said:“East Northamptonshire Council is always pleased when a business comes to our district, especially if there is a chance of extra employment.

“We wish Zed Candy sweet success for the future and thank it for investing in East Northamptonshire and making its home here.”

The Letterkenny plant will close on May 31 with the loss of 15 jobs. Production will be moved in stages to Zed Candy’s Kettering site over the next few weeks, said Lawlor.

The decision to close the Letterkenny site was taken after reviewing the firm’s manufacturing operations. Zed Candy said: “Over the past number of years the factory in Letterkenny has been under continual review due to unsustainable overhead and operating costs.

“We sincerely regret the implications the closure of the factory will have for our employees in Oatfield.”

The firm said it would support the staff to minimise the impact of the decision to close the site.

Toffees and hard candies

The Letterkenny plant produced Oatfield Sweet-brand toffees and hard candies.

Other retro-style Zed Candy confectionery brands included Fizz Bombs – a type of fizzy boiled sweet and Jawbreakers.

The firm was started in 1999, by two Irish entrepreneurs Brendan Roantree and Donal Kavanagh, as a manufacturer of bubblegum.

In 2001, the Dublin-based firm purchased Tilley’s, a UK producer of traditional boiled sweets.

Six years later it added Oatfield Sweets to its portfolio. In the same year it acquired Irish bubblegum firm Leaf Ireland.

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