The firm, which manufactures up to 14M pastry products a year for Tesco and foodservice firms 3663 and Brakes, will take on an extra 50 staff, bringing the company’s total workforce to 230, group marketing director Mark Muncey told FoodManufacture.co.uk.
Proper Cornish currently operates from a 4,645m² facility in Bodmin, Cornwall, which it will use to manufacture speciality and artisan pastry products once the new site is operational, Muncey said.
“The new site will open later this year,” he said. “We will have the capacity to produce 575,000 units per day.
“All of our equipment is built to achieve the consistency and quality our customers expect and will be operated by staff who receive the highest standards of training.”
More than 50,000 pasties
More than 50,000 pasties are hand crimped by staff on the production line each day, which was roughly three a minute, Muncey added.
Proper Cornish also manufactured other products, including a new range of pies and sausage rolls, he said.
Growth of the firm, which was founded in 1988, was attributed to a rise in consumer interest of handmade products, Muncey claimed.
“We’ve got a handcrafted product and they are becoming valued more and more by consumers – especially the younger generations.
“A rise in the food-to-go sector is also a key driver of our growth and consumers, who are becoming busier, want a quick and simple product to eat on-the-go and the Cornish pasty is perfect for that market,” he added.
Helped boost sales
The Cornish pasty’s Protected Geographical Indication status, granted in 2011, had also helped boost sales and interest among consumers, Muncey said.
“Pasties have seen 12.5% growth in sales value and 17% growth in sales volume since 2014,” he added.
Meanwhile, Muncey admitted that pastry products hadn’t fared well in the health debate, but said Proper Cornish had ensured consumers had enough options to suit their needs.
The majority of the firm’s products had been manufactured in a variety of sizes from 142g to 510g to ensure consumers who didn’t want to eat a lot, but still wanted a pastry product, could have one.
“But, it’s also about an affordable luxury,” he explained. “It’s about having a treat and something that that you would pay a little more money for because it’s good quality.”