Hill Biscuits prepares for major growth following big changes to senior team

By Bethan Grylls

- Last updated on GMT

The new leadership team at Hill Biscuits, from top left to right: Steve Greenhalgh, Tracey Meadows and Frank Bird; and from bottom left to right: Brendon Banner and Simon Worth
The new leadership team at Hill Biscuits, from top left to right: Steve Greenhalgh, Tracey Meadows and Frank Bird; and from bottom left to right: Brendon Banner and Simon Worth

Related tags appointments Leadership Investment

The Manchester-based biscuit company, which specialises in classics such as custard creams, is set to expand its on-site capacity with several announcements to be made throughout 2024.

Almost at its 170th​ birthday, Hill Biscuits has been seeing healthy sales revenue increases since 2021, achieving 50% growth last year alone.

Led by CEO Frank Bird, who assumed the role in May 2023, the business has seen several big changes to its leadership with a recently appointed operations director, new CFO and new commercial lead.

Operations director Simon Worth, chief financial officer Brendon Ward-Banner, and the commercial director Tracey Meadows have been spearheading what the business describes as ‘transformational’ initiatives to enhance working practices. This includes setting new benchmarks in quality control, people development and process control.

Commenting, Bird said: "The senior team is now leading a transformation of the working practices at the factory, establishing new standards across the company with a data-driven approach.

“Our focus spans all areas of the business, developing a pivotal point on efficiency and bakery performances, whilst ensuring that quality is at the heart of our enhancements. The delivery of our plans will be supported through improving our emphasis on people development and acquiring natural succession within the business in all key roles, while also having an adaptive focus on process improvement and preventative maintenance.”

This year, the company will be making significant capital investment in expanding its capacity, with investment set to take place over a 12-to-18-month period.

"There is an equal significance placed on process and product development, creativity should always extend to operating methods as much as product design, this is where we are focussing our capital investments,” ​continued Bird.

“Leveraging my experiences, along with the knowledge within the team, we are meticulously scrutinising our business, identifying inefficiencies, and adjusting practices to optimise productivity, enabling us to manage capability and costs without compromising quality."

One area for opportunity is within the growing trend of premium biscuits, which Hill Biscuits sees as an interesting prospect for traditional biscuit lines like custard creams and fruit shorties.

Bird explained: “There has been a lot of movement in the market recently with some manufacturers making the decision to follow the premium trend which in turn has created opportunities for Hill’s to expand on its ability in producing traditional quality biscuits, which is what Hill is all about.”

“In 2024 it would be great to explore potential co-manufacturing partnerships where we can relaunch our Sarah Hill brand, named after one of the founders of the company in 1855, a premium product range that includes cookie type products and potentially even coated biscuits. This move could also increase Hill’s overall market presence, creating innovative opportunities in new product ranges and for further partnerships.”

On the recent changes at Hill Biscuits and the future investment at the factory, Steve Greenhalgh, the brand’s executive chairman, added: “We are confident in our strategies and excited about developing the future of the company to meet the demand for our everyday biscuits. We are in a strong position where we can lead on cost and value, with a quality range of products.”

In other news, the Food Standards Agency is seeking information from manufacturers working in lab grown meat​, which is set to inform future regulation.

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