Md Bill Panesar told FoodManufacture.co.uk that the project, which he expects to be completed by the end of May, would create 30 jobs “and more”. The manufacturer, which supplies other processors and a range of major retailers including Sainsbury and Aldi, currently employs 160 people.
The venture has been supported by a funding package from HSBC. “We have got nearly £7.5M from them and have put a lot of our own money in,” said Panesar. The company had pumped almost £1.5M more in capital expenditure into the project, he added.
“The equipment we are installing will improve our efficiencies and keep us going. We will have a fully automated glass line and the next phase will be to put in a fully automated plastic line,” he said.
The investment would significantly boost manufacturing capacity at Panesar Foods’ Ocker Hill site at Tipton in the West Midlands, said Panesar. “We will have another 70-75% extra on top.”
The family-owned company could run more shifts and boost output even further, he claimed.
‘Goal to hit £35M’
Panesar Foods currently boasts a turnover of £29M. “Our next goal is to hit £35M, which we will achieve with the new lines,” said Panesar.
The firm was originally set up as Panesar Marketing in 1992 to market speciality cuisine, but changed its name to Panesar Foods in 1996.
It now makes more than 750 different products, including salsa dips, chutneys, cooking sauces, guacamole, dressings, barbecue sauces, garlic mayonnaise and maple syrup, supplying branded and own-label lines.
In addition to pure manufacturing, the company can handle outsourced product development and packaging design on behalf of other processors. It processes glass jar, plastic bottle and sachet items.