Kraft Heinz to invest £140m at its Kitt Green plant and make ketchup in the UK again
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Kraft Heinz has announced plans to invest £140m investment at its Kitt Green plant located near Wigan – Europe’s largest food production facility.
This would be the American-owned firm’s biggest investment in more than two decades in a site outside of the US and is expected to create up to 50 full-time jobs. The proposed investment is subject to final US approvals from Kraft Heinz later in the year.
The investment will be focused on further modernising the manufacturing capabilities of the site over the next four years, focused around three key pillars – bringing Heinz’s iconic sauce manufacturing back to the UK to build additional European capacity, further upgrading machinery and driving the plant to deliver its ESG commitments. Tomato Ketchup and other sauces were last made in the UK in 1999.
The Kitt Green plan is a strong vote of confidence in post-Brexit Britain, aligning with the Government’s levelling up agenda and is a demonstration of Kraft Heinz’s commitment to the UK and its food manufacturing capabilities, the group said.
UK Minister for Investment Gerry Grimstone said in a statement:
Whether you’re a Heinz Mayonnaise or Ketchup fan, the Kraft Heinz investment is a vote of confidence in the UK economy from a major US firm and a boost that will mean jobs and growth for the local economy in Wigan.
“The US is a key trading partner and we are committed to striking an ambitious trade deal that opens up new opportunities for our businesses, brings in more investment and creates better jobs for people across the whole of the country.”
Kitt Green currently produces 1.3 billion cans of food per year, of which 94% is consumed in the UK. Iconic brands, including Heinz Beanz, Soups and Pasta, will continue to be produced at the Kitt Green site for the UK market.
Luis Spinardi, site director at Kitt Green, said:
This is a very exciting time for Kitt Green and I am proud that the potential for the site to grow and modernise is being recognised.
“As a result of this proposed investment, we are now in the fortunate position where Kitt Green can become a much more modern facility and our teams will have the ability to adopt more contemporary ways of working whilst exemplifying the highest global standards for food manufacturing.
“Not only are we excited to be expanding our product mix by bringing sauces back to the UK but also look forward to a more efficient facility with a sustainable future.”
Plans to bring sauce manufacturing for products such as Heinz Tomato Ketchup, Mayonnaise and Salad Cream are designed to meet the demand from a new generation of UK consumers. The investment will also fund updated manufacturing equipment and technology, the first of its kind across the Kraft Heinz network.