Burton’s takes 17% of the convenience savoury snack market

By Nicholas Robinson

- Last updated on GMT

Wilson: 'I think in the long term the savoury category could come up and be as big as the sweet market.'
Wilson: 'I think in the long term the savoury category could come up and be as big as the sweet market.'

Related tags Investment Snack food

Burton’s Biscuit Company plans to invest £15M across its factories to equip it to grow its share of the savoury snacking market, according to the firm’s chief commercial officer Stuart Wilson.

The company launched Cathedral City Baked Bites late last year and re-launched its 1980s Burton’s Fish and Chips brand in January this year, taking 17% of the convenience savoury snacking sector in six months.

Burton’s estimates the two brands are already worth millions of pounds.

As a result of the two product launches, Wilson told FoodManufacture.co.uk he expected there to be investment to the tune of £15M-plus across the company’s factories.

“Company-wide, on the supply side, we’ve made £40M of investments in the last three years.

“There will be a lot more investment in factories and lines and I would fully imagine that we would carry on spending at or above the rates we’ve been spending to date.”

Turnover to rise

Meanwhile, he expected Burton’s turnover for 2013 to rise above figures for 2012.

Although accounts hadn’t been filed for 2013, he said: “In 2012 turnover was £335M, making just over £35M EBITDA ​[earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation].

“I can comfortably say that our 2013 accounts will show that we’ve substantially grown our profit.There is an opportunity to step up the baked snack and savoury snack sector.

“Baked savoury snacks are an area that I think is underdeveloped in the UK market, relative to other world markets.”

Sweet outweighs savoury

Sweet biscuit sales outweighed savoury in the UK by four times, but in the US it was an even split, according to Wilson.

“I think over the long term the savoury category in the UK could come up and be as big as the sweet market. I see no reason why not.”

Burton’s developed Cathedral City Baked Bites as a flagship brand, explained Wilson. “There are relatively few brands for more than £15M within this space,” ​he said.

“We approached Dairy Crest, which owns Cathedral City cheese and is a £270M brand, to see if it appealed to them and they were very excited about it.”

Worth more than £10M

Wilson said he expected the brand to grow to be worth more than £10M within the next two years, in part as a result of Burton’s innovative packaging to appeal to shoppers in various settings.  

The bites are sold in multipacks, grab bags and impulse packs, which are expected to appeal to the growing trend of convenience store shoppers, as well as mega-store shoppers, he said.

While the bites were launched as a potential category leader, Burton’s Fish and Chips were a product of consumer demand, said Wilson.

“There had always been some underlying interest in reviving Burton’s Fish and Chips, but a feature in The Sun asked consumers what brand from the 1980s they wanted to return and Burton’s Fish and Chips came out number one,” ​he added.

Burton’s Fish and Chips are also expected to become a £10M brand within the next two years, said Wilson, and added: “In terms of grocery launches, I would put it right up there in the top 10% of the category.”

Related news

Show more

Follow us

Featured Jobs

View more


Food Manufacture Podcast

Listen to the Food Manufacture podcast