Snack firm Stoats opens new factory

By Mike Stones

- Last updated on GMT

Stoats has opened a new factory as part of its plan to deliver a turnover of £10M by 2020
Stoats has opened a new factory as part of its plan to deliver a turnover of £10M by 2020

Related tags: New factory, New product development

Porridge oats firm Stoats has opened a new factory, south of Edinburgh, as part of its plan to deliver a turnover of £10M by 2020.

The new factory, designed to boost the manufacturer’s output of 9M porridge oat bars a year, covers 2,043m2​ and is located at Bilston Glen Industrial Estate in Loanhead.

The site will become the new headquarters for 40 staff, working across bakery, sales, marketing and operations.

Next spring a new product development kitchen will be opened to support innovation. The facility will also be used to host visits from schools and educational groups, with a focus on healthy eating.

Stoats md Tony Stone said the business had come a long way since he began baking porridge bars in the family kitchen over 12 years ago. 

“We’re really thrilled to be opening our own factory, where we can invest more in developing new products in both existing and new categories, as well as own-label products,”​ said Stone.

‘New categories’

“The new factory gives us the opportunity to realise our ambitious plans, including increasing distribution across the UK and internationally.  We can be more agile in our approach and we’re better placed to meet the demands of retailers and consumers.”

Funding for the new factory was supported by Midlothian Regional Selective Assistance and HSBC Bank.

Midlothian Council’s cabinet member for economic development, Councillor Russell Imrie, welcomed the move to Midlothian. “We are delighted that Stoats have decided to relocate at Loanhead, allowing them to expand their operations, invest in new products and secure local jobs,”​ said Imrie.

“Stoats is a successful company who are committed to their workforce, with a reputation for quality products and with plans to grow their market share. They are a welcome and prestigious addition to Midlothian’s business sector.”

‘UK and international growth’

Susan Rowand, HSBC head of business banking in Scotland, said: “It’s fantastic to see a Scottish brand continue to expand with a new factory enabling an increase in both production and distribution. We were more than happy to enable Stoats to realise their UK and international growth ambitions through its new factory in Edinburgh.”

The oat product manufacturer supplies major retailers including Tesco, Waitrose, Morrisons and Sainsbury as well as wholesalers Bidfood and Brakes.

As well as porridge oat bars, the business manufactures porridge sachets, porridge quick pots, flavoured porridge, mueslis, oatcakes and 750g boxes of porridge.

In addition to growing domestic sales, Stoats has achieved year-on-year double digit growth in export sales. The business exports to 12 international markets, including the US, Benelux and the Middle East.

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