The baker pumping £28m into the development of three distribution depots in Widnes, Bognor Regis and Banbury and the creation of 150 new jobs. The three sites will replace existing facilities in Speke, Waterlooville and Buckingham, with no headcount reductions as part of the move.
It also aims to introduce new electric and compressed natural gas vehicles across its fleet to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Two new plants
Warbutons plans to use the rest of the investment to build operational capacity at its Stockton and Burnley sites to meet demand for non-bread bakery products. This would entail a new £18m thin bagel line (operational June 2022) and an £8m crumpet plant (operational October 2021) respectively, the company confirmed.
Jonathan Warburton, chairman of Warburtons, said the investment in infrastructure was key to ensuring the long-term success of the fifth generation family business.
“Consumer tastes are changing, and we work hard to make sure we are providing a range of products to meet consumer demand,” he said.
“This investment programme will allow us to better respond to these tastes for non-bread baked goods and meet the growing demand for crumpets and bread alternatives such as thin bagels.
“We also bake 24/7, 364 days a year and pride ourselves on a running a world class distribution network and our sites are situated across the country to enable us to bake and deliver fresh to over 19,000 stores each day. The investment in three new depots will have a critical role in ensuring we can further support our customers and get bakery to store as fresh as possible each day.”
Combined with Warburtons existing infrastructure, the new sites will allow the company to deliver 2m products within 12 hours to stores, helping them preserve their freshness.
Warburtons said it would continue to support its retailer partners by collecting and delivering their own-label bakery direct to stores.
Meanwhile, Morning Foods aims to boost output over the next four years by more than 50% thanks to a major expansion of its oat milling capabilities at its site in Crewe.