30 new jobs after Yorkshire Provender investment

By Nicholas Robinson

- Last updated on GMT

Yorkshire Provender will increase its workforce from 12
Yorkshire Provender will increase its workforce from 12

Related tags Nutrition Soup Restaurant

Soup manufacturer Yorkshire Provender will create 30 new jobs next summer after investing £2.4M to double the size of its Melmerby-based factory to meet growing consumer demand for fresh soup.

Retail sales at the company, which is near to Ripon and currently employs 12 staff, rose by 56% this year, despite a 5.5% slump in the chilled soup category, Kantar Worldpanel data showed.

The firm, which was set up seven years ago by entrepreneur Belinda Williams, supplies Waitrose, Tesco, the Co-operative and dozens of other independent food halls and farm shops.

Sales have risen by 85% in the past four years and are expected to climb by a third to more than £5.3M in the next six months, according to the firm.

Doubling the size

As a result of doubling the size of the factory, sales are expected to rise by a further 80% in the next three years, it claimed.

Yorkshire Provender’s sales success reflected changing consumer shopping habits, said Williams.

"We have benefited from the change in shopping habits, with people forgoing the weekly shop for more regular visits to the supermarket, picking up a pot of soup for example on the way home from work," ​she told FoodManufacture.co.uk 

Consumers perceived soup as a healthy and nutritious option, Williams added.

Soup sales are also expected to rise in January​, as consumers battle the effects of the Christmas splurge, according to figures from the consumer shopping app Shopitize.

300% in January

Purchases of soup increased by 300% in January this year, compared with sales in December 2013, Shopitize’s statistics showed.

Irina Pafomova, md and co-founder of Shopitize, said: “Soup is the perfect answer to the obligatory January detox. It’s warming and healthy and won’t break the bank.

“Many of the gourmet soups on the market make a great lunch or dinner, and savvy chefs even create hearty stews with a few extra ingredients.”

Of those surveyed by Shopitize, 54% said they preferred gourmet and fresh varieties of soup, such as those manufactured by Yorkshire Provender, as opposed to canned soup.

Meanwhile, the nation’s top three favourite soups were tomato and basil, carrot and coriander, and Thai chicken, according to Shopitize.

Top 10 soups of 2014

  1. Tomato and basil
  2. Carrot and coriander
  3. Thai chicken
  4. Potato & leek
  5. Butternut squash
  6. Wild mushroom
  7. Minestrone
  8. Lentil & bacon
  9. Mexican bean
  10. Vegetable

Source: Shopitize

For all of the latest jobs in food and drink manufacturing, visit FoodManJobs​.

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