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Warburtons unveils £56m investment programme
Warburtons is investing £56m in its manufacturing and distribution capabilities, as the business prepares to meet the growing demand for non-bread bakery products, and strengthens its ability to get daily fresh products to stores across the country.
The investment will see the development of three new distribution depots in Widnes, Bognor Regis and Banbury, and the creation of 150 additional distribution roles. The new depots will replace three existing sites in Speke, Waterlooville and Buckingham, with no headcount reductions as part of the site moves.
To meet growing demand for non-bread bakery products, and in particular the rise in popularity of crumpets and bagels, Warburtons is also building two new bakery plants; a new £18m thin bagel line at its Stockton bakery, which will be operational in June 2022, and a new £8m crumpet plant at its Burnley bakery, operational in October 2021.
Jonathan Warburton, chairman of Warburtons, said: “Investing in our infrastructure is key to ensuring the long-term success of our fifth generation family business. Consumer tastes are changing, and we work hard to make sure we are providing a range of products to meet consumer demand, this investment programme will allow us to better respond to these tastes for non-bread baked goods, and meet the growing demand for crumpets and bread alternatives such as thin bagels.
“We also bake 24/7, 364 days a year and pride ourselves on a running a world class distribution network and our sites are situated across the country to enable us to bake and deliver fresh to over 19,000 stores each day. The investment in 3 new depots will have a critical role in ensuring we can further support our customers and get bakery to store as fresh as possible each day.”
Warburtons, which is headquartered in Bolton, also plans to improve the environmental credentials of its fleet of almost 1,000 vehicles by introducing new electric and compressed natural gas vehicles and significantly upgrading the technology used across the entire distribution network.
Combined with Warburtons existing infrastructure, the new sites will allow the company to deliver 2 million products within 12 hours to stores ensuring “unbeatable freshness”. This investment in distribution has also been fuelled by a desire to innovate for the consumer and will allow Warburtons to grow and simultaneously meet the changing tastes of consumers, wherever they are in the UK.
In addition, the investment will enable Warburtons to continue to support its retail partners by collecting and delivering private label bakery direct to stores.