Kraft Heinz invests £20m in Wigan site

By Rod Addy

- Last updated on GMT

Kraft Heinz has invested more than £20m in an initiative dubbed Project Darwin
Kraft Heinz has invested more than £20m in an initiative dubbed Project Darwin
Kraft Heinz has invested more than £20m in an initiative dubbed Project Darwin to enhance its canned baked bean, soup, spaghetti and Snap Pots factory at Kitt Green, near Wigan, which it claims is Europe’s biggest food plant.

The facility was opened in 1959 and has required constant investment and development to keep pace with the evolution of the food supply chain. This has accelerated since HJ Heinz’s global merger with Kraft in 2015, with the site attracting a total of £113.6m over the past four years.

The latest tranche of cash has been spent on modernising filling and packaging, including a high-speed line that is able to fill 1,200 cans of beans and soups a minute, a high-speed weigh filling line and a triple-pack can packaging line.

£13.6m of capital expenditure

“We have recently agreed $18m​ [£13.6m] of capital expenditure to upgrade Snap Pots capacity to increase one area that’s growing for us significantly: convenience,”​ said Kitt Green manufacturing director Stuart Lawson.

“It will give us further growth potential of 5.5m units and allow us to produce almost 80m Snap Pots a year,”​ he said.

Commenting on business under the new ownership regime, Lawson added: “The new owners are more receptive than the legacy business to invest in modernising the site.”

In recent years, Kitt Green has also invested in automated guided vehicles and optimising can making lines. It makes 383,000t of product annually, including 450m cans of Heinz Beanz.

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