“We are in the process of securing a second site,” said Kolak md Rikin Lakhani. “Our new site will be around the London area, 40 minutes from here around the M25.
Lakhani added: “So we are still staying local as for us it is important to manage the operation and it makes it easier for either me or my team to pop down and see the site.”
The new factory is expected to be fully operational by next May, said Lakhani.
Increases product range
“We are putting a brand new production line there and moving some of our existing machinery as a back-up facility. That frees up some space here but also increases our product range.”
The £101M turnover company’s existing site near Park Royal in west London occupies around 23,000m2 of space and produces 575 stock keeping units, primarily own-label crisps and snacks for the major multiples and discounters. But it also manufactures a small amount of branded snacks.
“As our business is growing and as our retailers recognise us being more and more of a major player and partner for them, there comes a time when we want to start looking at new product ideas,” said Lakhani. “In order to do that we have grown this site to its capacity.”
The new factory will not only give Kolak’s customers confidence that it is continuing to invest in the snacks category, he added, it will also allow for future expansion and provide back-up capability should there ever be disruption, for whatever reason, to its main site.
Kolak also plans to manufacture a new product at the new factory, which will be made on a dedicated production line one of the first in the UK to make the snack.
While not prepared to disclose precisely what new snack was planned, Lakhani said: “The product already exists in the market, but it is not readily available in an own-label format.”
Watch our exclusive video interview with Lakhani to find out why he predicted the snack food market would grow despite an enhanced focus on health among consumers.