Biscuit manufacturer creates 40 jobs

By Gwen Ridler

- Last updated on GMT

Northumbrian Fine Foods's £1.2M investment into a new production line has create 40 jobs
Northumbrian Fine Foods's £1.2M investment into a new production line has create 40 jobs

Related tags Manufacturing Food Biscuit

Up to 40 jobs have been created at a biscuit manufacturer in Gateshead, after the company’s new £1.2M bake oven and production line became fully operational.

Northumbrian Fine Foods’s (NFF) expansion has boosted the production capacity at the factory by about 30%. It allowed the company to meet demand – especially in the gluten-free sector.

The company said the investment followed soaring demand for biscuits in the free-­from sector, that had driven an 80% rise in the manufacturer’s turnover over the past five years.

The new line will focus on the production of a wide range of different biscuits including: cookies, rotary moulded biscuits and bake bars – such as Granola.

Meet customer demand

Stewart McLelland, NFF md, said the factory would now be able to further develop its free-from offering.

“This investment will reinforce our leading position in the gluten-free sector and enable us to develop new markets, including export,” ​added McLelland.

Established in the 1936, NFF employs about 200 people at its 2787m2 ​factory. It manufactures own-label products for some of the major supermarkets, as well as the Prewett’s brand of gluten-free biscuits.

About 70% of the UK’s gluten-free sweet biscuit production is carried out at the NFF site, according to the company.

Meanwhile, hand iced-biscuit maker Biscuiteers made plans to expand its manufacturing, marketing and retail departments, after receiving £1.25M in investment from a crowdfunding campaign.

Free-from foods: a £531M market

  • Sales of free-from foods are grew 13% to £531M in 2016, according to City analyst Mintel.
  • The market was predicted to grow much further, reaching £673M by 2020.
  • Up to 33% of British consumers ate or bought free-from food in the six months leading to September 2015.
  • In 2015, 12% of new food products launched in the UK carried a gluten-free claim, up 7% from 2011.
  • Price is a barrier preventing wider adoption of free-from foods, thanks to their higher than average price.

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