2 minute read - 7th December 2022
Princes Group completes £60m Cardiff site investment
Food and drink manufacturer Princes Group has marked the official opening of its expanded drinks facility, following the completion of a major investment programme worth £60m.
The investment programme at Princes Cardiff has involved the installation of seven new soft drink production lines, in addition to a significant upgrade and refurbishment of two existing lines. The project has also further strengthened the site’s warehousing and logistical capabilities, and a brand-new ingredient processing centre has been built and commissioned.
Historically, the Cardiff site has produced one-litre, ambient juices, multipacks and ready to merchandise display units. However, the project – which marks the group’s largest ever capital investment into soft drinks – has enabled the production of new pack sizes and formats including mini and chilled drinks, doubling overall production capacity and creating 130 new jobs.
The investment has also enabled expansion into new markets. Earlier this year, Princes entered the low and no alcohol category for the first time with its skinny mixers range, launching a trio of blended juice drinks made from juice concentrate and fruit purees.
Ian Davies, head of operations at Princes Cardiff, said: “We’re extremely pleased to have completed this investment programme and proud of what we’ve achieved at Princes Cardiff following several years of hard work by our teams and partners, throughout the height of the pandemic and beyond. The support of the Welsh government has been fantastic and they are a great partner for all of us at Cardiff.
“The investment has significantly boosted our production capabilities and capacity, enabling entry into new categories as part of our ongoing innovation strategy. We have also introduced new pack sizes and formats to meet customer demand, and reduced Princes’ carbon footprint through increased efficiencies and the use of more environmentally-friendly carton materials.
“These changes have meant we are on track to significantly reduce waste juice at the site by over 2,000 tonnes and with food waste being a major contributor to climate change, this is an important part of our overall environmental progress.”
Princes Cardiff is one of the largest employers in the area with over 260 colleagues, and its supply chain supports hundreds of both local and regional jobs. The site is also part of a recently announced feasibility study to produce green hydrogen from biogas generated at a nearby wastewater treatment centre. The energy is being used by Princes to fuel boilers that generate heat for fruit juice pasteurisation.
Lesley Griffiths, Welsh government minister, who visited the site recently, added: “I am very pleased to have officially opened Princes’ expanded drinks facility following substantial investment which included £3 million of Welsh government support. We have a vision here in Wales to see our food and drink manufacturing sector turnover grow to at least £8.5 billion by 2025, and developments such as this in Cardiff will be important in helping us realise the aim. It is great the new facility will collectively save over 2,000 tonnes in waste juice annually from production and new jobs have been created. I wish Princes and the staff working here continued success now and in the future.”