The company, which currently employs 150 staff, has allocated the cash to buy and refurbish a factory at its headquarters in Tywyn, north Wales and expects to reach a workforce of 200 as a result. The plant, which is situated across the road from its current facilities on the same industrial estate, was previously run by Halo Foods and was closed in 2013.
The planned new facility would build on Brighter Foods’ ability to segregate ingredients to meet the highest standard for producing different recipes excluding gluten or containing nuts, it claimed. The new tranche of cash would enable the purchase of the latest manufacturing equipment, including cookers, formers, wrappers and chillers.
The firm said it hoped the move would help it meet demand from existing customers and enable it to expand its business to new clients. It was also part of its strategy to de-risk Brexit by manufacturing products bound for the UK market in the UK, it added.
‘Less than 10%’
“Over the last couple of years up to a third of Brighter Foods' sales has been via products made outside the UK,” a spokeswoman for Brighter Foods told Food Manufacture. “This investment should get us to a place where it is less than 10%. We will, at the same time, be growing overall sales by over a third, all of which will be manufactured in the UK. But we have a good relationship with our European partners and will still be working with them to manufacture products.
“As for the supply chain, we buy local wherever possible, and import ingredients from around the world which are not grown in Wales or the UK. We will carry on with this policy.”
The company said it was one of many food manufacturers in the healthy snack bar market that had relied on, and flourished by, working with partners in the EU.
The first phase of investment would be operational by January 2019 and a further three phases would be completed six to 12 months after that, it added.
“Food manufacturers have been concerned about Brexit, particularly the fear of steep tariff barriers,” said Brighter Foods’ founder and chief executive Robin Williams. “Our latest investment should give confidence to the Tywyn workforce, and to our clients who want a continued high level of innovation and customer service.
“When we launched Brighter Foods, we refurbished an old warehouse with what we could afford, but always had dreams for an additional newbuild as we grew. But to be able to breathe new life into the old Halo factory is fantastic.
“This investment will mean that we will have three production lines in Tywyn, benefiting from the latest equipment, and that our team will grow to around 200 over the next 12 months.”
Brighter Foods was set up in 2014 and now turns over £20m annually.