£2.5M to boost Charlie Bigham’s ready meal capacity

By Laurence Gibbons

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Charlie bigham Investment Meal

Charlie Bigham's is investing £2.5M to help it make more ready meals
Charlie Bigham's is investing £2.5M to help it make more ready meals
Posh ready meal manufacturer Charlie Bigham’s is to invest £2.5M in production equipment over the coming year amid aims to increase capacity and improve efficiency and food quality.

Founder of the business Charlie Bigham told FoodManufacture.co.uk: “We are very fortunate that our brand is growing, so we need to cook more food. We are putting in the capacity to make fresher food, better food and more food.

“To ensure we continue to produce the best food and allow as many people as possible to enjoy it, we are always investing in our production kitchens.”

The investment could boost production capacity by a third, however Bigham was keen to stress he couldn’t confirm an exact figure until the new equipment was in place.

“Other people might say we will be increasing capacity by xyz, but I don’t pay attention to that,” ​he added. “We know we need to cook more food, so we will start by doing that and then worry about how much by when it’s in place.”

Over £20M

Charlie Bigham’s has seen retail sales grow year on year by just under 30% to over £20M.

The investment was also likely to lead to new jobs as the business strives to continuously improve its workforce, Bigham said.

“The investment alone won’t bring with it say 20 or odd jobs, but we do recruit people every year and our team is continuously growing,” ​he added. “Our job is to make sure the workforce doesn’t grow as much as sales. We recruit when we need to, but more than that, we retain and improve our current workforce.”

The firm has also invested £120,000 into a new advertising campaign, which it hoped would help it to connect with 30M potential consumers. The national outdoor campaign will include roadside and tube adverts at 190 locations across the UK.

“This is a fantastic opportunity to tell people about our food, and hopefully they will try our food and like it,”​ Bigham said. “Also, hopefully those that have tried it before will be reminded of us and will try it again.”

Bigham added that he was keen to exploit the many ways to get out and tell people about his products.

Singing lasagne

Earlier this month, Bigham’s released a singing lasagne​ that helped the firm’s sales more than triple at Waitrose.

When opening the packaging of the limited edition meals, Marvin Gaye’s seductive classic ‘Let’s Get It On’ serenaded customers.

Bigham said the firm was constantly looking at new and potentially wacky ways to get the message out about the brand.

“We don’t want to take ourselves too seriously if we can,”​ Bigham added. “We experiment with different ways to get ourselves out there and if we can come up with a fun way to do that, then that’s great.”

Meanwhile, watch our exclusive video with Bigham to find out what his top three tips​ for growth were.

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