In response to the burgeoning sales of its gluten-free oat drink, the firm said the planned development was key to furthering growth of the business.
A spokeswoman told Food Manufacture that the rise of wider plant-based and health foods made the move an obvious decision.
“It falls down to the rise in plant-based drink consumption,” she said. “You only have to look in the shops to see the explosion of the sector.”
The new development in Cambridgeshire, which has yet to have a completion date, will see a complete overhaul of the structure, with the latest machinery built to the firm’s required specifications.
“We are Europe’s biggest grower, miller and producer of certified gluten-free oats, supplying over 30 countries worldwide with British-grown oat products of the highest quality,” said Rebecca Rayner, managing director of Glebe Farm Foods.
See to shelf philosophy
“Our seed-to-shelf philosophy is central to our business and as the oat category, especially oat drinks, continues to evolve, it is crucial that we invest in our site, so we have invested several million pounds to future-proof our business.
“Work has begun on the new physical structure and we have the latest machinery currently being built to our specifications and ready to install over the next few months, giving us increased capacity to produce our oat drink to meet this demand.”
In the UK alone, oat drinks are showing strong year-on-year growth in retail, up 72.9% according to Kantar data, and predictions are for a very bright future in foodservice for the non-dairy alternative.
As previously reported by Food Manufacture, the Chilled Foods Association (CFA) has reported a continued rise in sales in the sector, with the surge in vegetarian and healthier options significantly boosting the upturn.