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Kettle Foods completes £2.7m factory investment
Kettle Foods has completed a £2.7m investment at its Norwich site with construction of a new potato processing building. £1.7m has been funded by Kettle Foods, with the full support of parent company Campbell’s, and almost £1m was grant-funded through the Growth Programme of the Rural Development Programme for England, provided by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD). This was the firms biggest investment since the site was expanded in 2011.
The new building enables the relocation, upgrade and capacity expansion of Kettle Foods’ entire potato intake process to the new building on land adjacent to the existing factory. The company owns the freehold of the Bowthorpe site and has considerable space available both for this development and further expansion in the future. This investment future proofs processing capacity and had been designed with no interruption to current manufacturing.
Ashley Hicks, Kettle Foods Managing Director, said: “30 years ago our founders set up home in Norfolk to be as close as possible to our potato farmers and we still love using locally grown potatoes today. This new intake facility will enable us to expand so that Norwich remains the home of Kettle Foods for many more years to come.”
The nature of the potato intake operation lends itself well to a new remote location situated away from the rest of the factory, giving the benefits of separating an agricultural process whilst freeing up internal manufacturing space for new snack products and future expansion.
The project comprises a new intake and grading building that includes a bulk trailer bay suitable for housing eight potato trailers. New potato grading equipment will remove soil, stones and small potatoes, along with a barrel washing machine that cleans the potatoes delivered to site. A water flume system will then transport the checked and washed potatoes to the factory for the next stage in their journey to becoming great Kettle Chips. Sampling and lab services will be conducted in the new building by our specialist agricultural team and in conjunction with the Kettle Growers Group who are involved with field sampling, testing, and inspecting the crop to maintain the highest quality standards during the growing, harvesting and storage cycle.
KETTLE is the UK’s leading hand-cooked crisp brand that has been processing potatoes in Norwich for over 30 years and for 25 years at the current site in Bowthorpe. It has a proud history of supporting local agriculture, with the majority of its potatoes being grown within 30 miles of the factory. Over the 30 years, KETTLE has become a leading premium food brand, currently worth almost £100m at retail, available through major grocery and impulse customers both in the UK and over 25 countries internationally. The company employs around 450 people but many more jobs are supported in the associated supply chain, through the growing and procurement of around 60,000 tonnes of local potatoes and the onward distribution of products to customers.