Capacity at the Swanley, Kent, production facility would be doubled from 3M pancakes a week to 6M a week, following an initial £1.4M investment earlier this year, said Duong.
The company, which specialises in Chinese pancakes, would also be able to manufacture finished dumplings, spring rolls and other specialist Chinese foods as a result of the investment, he added.
“We’ve more than doubled our capacity and we have much greater scope to do more business and expand our product lines,” said Duong. The £2M turnover company, which supplies ethnic wholesalers and other food manufacturers, has also increased its floor space by 80% and created five new jobs.
Duong, who started the firm in 2002, was also in talks to supply some of the big four retailers and other food manufacturers.
Further £2M investment
A further £2M has been earmarked to improve the site’s bulk ingredients handling facilities, such as its flour silos, as well as to modernise other parts of Ming Foods’s production equipment.
“We’re also looking at an anaerobic digestion system for our waste streams and to generate heat and power for the factory; also, photovoltaic solar panels to generate power,” Duong said.
It had been difficult to raise the capital to invest in the firm in recent years, he added: “I can’t convey how difficult [it has been] to invest in and grow a small food manufacturing business with great ambition, [especially] in the throes of the financial crisis.”
Meanwhile, consumption of Chinese food in British homes has been growing for the past three years, with its popularity outstripping Indian food, according to recent data from Mintel.
78% of Britons
In the first quarter of 2015, 78% of Britons had eaten Chinese food at home, 12% of which had consumed it at least once a week, researchers said.
In contrast, Indian food was eaten by 74% of Britons at home over the same period and Mexican food had been consumed by 48%.
Soy sauce proved to be the most widely purchased Chinese food product, with volumes rising by 1,000t between 2013 and 2014 to 4,000t, according to Mintel.
“Soy sauce sales now match volume sales of British favourites, such as mint and apple sauce,” remarked Mintel senior food analyst Richard Ford.
“The fact that soy sauce is now on a par with British favourites reflects growing consumer interest in oriental cuisine,” he added.