Clearly Drinks canning line investment reaps rewards

By Michelle Perrett

- Last updated on GMT

The new canning line has enable the company to increase capacity
The new canning line has enable the company to increase capacity

Related tags: Supply chain

Clearly Drinks, the Sunderland based soft drinks manufacturer, is expecting to double revenue this year after investing £6m into a new canning line.

Clearly Drinks, which manufactures its own branded products as well as providing a contract bottling service, revealed it is expecting the revenue increase after tripling its capacity to 160m litres over the last three years.

The company said the investment into the Sunderland plant ​is part of a wider investment programme which has seen it expand into new markets and launch new product lines.

As well as investing in the canning line, the company has also purchased a new pasteurisation unit and nitrogen dosing system which have led to the creation of 10 new jobs. 

Total Investment

The total investment, which is over £6.5m, was supported by the Sustainable Advanced Manufacturing (SAM) Project, which provided technical support to help the company integrate the new technology into its business, as well as a £50,000 grant towards the purchase of the new pasteurisation unit.

Clearly Drinks is led by chief executive Mick Howard, who joined the company in 2018 having spent over 30 years in senior technical roles overseeing the operations of major brands across Africa and Europe including SAB Miller. 

 “To make such an investment during a pandemic was a brave and courageous decision however it is one that has really paid off for the business,”​ said Howard.  

“Not only has it helped us bring new products to market but it has also seen our headcount exceed 100 employees and made the business much more agile. It’s a really exciting time for everyone involved with Clearly Drinks.”

Growth journey

Roger O’Brien, project and technical lead at the SAM Project, said: “Clearly Drinks is a real North East success story and we’re delighted to have been able to support the company on its incredible growth journey.

“The investment in the new canning line and pasteurisation unit will not only help make the business more sustainable but it will also allow it to realise its potential and continue growing its presence across the globe. We’d like to wish them all the best for the future.”

The SAM Project is a £10.9m collaboration between the European Regional Development Fund, the University of Sunderland and the Northern Powerhouse Initiative and Industry, supporting the implementation of product and process development and the introduction of technology within the SME manufacturing base in the North-East Local Enterprise Partnership area. 

Last year, Clearly Drinks partnered with the Salvation Army​to jointly fund a project to create employment opportunities for people in the North East.

Related topics: Drinks, Operations

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