Australian biscuit maker Unibic today (13 July) cut the ribbon on a new A$44m (US$38.5m) biscuit and cake plant in the state of Victoria.

The purpose-built facility is capable of producing 4.5 tonnes of goods per hour, and includes a new R&D facility, featuring a design studio, test kitchen and miniature production line.

The site will produce Unibic's whole range, including the new Harvest Kitchen Soft Centre biscuits.

The new factory also features purpose-built technology for a new line of low-fat chips, to be released later this year.

Unibic, a company based in the Australian site of Victoria, has produced speciality biscuits, pastries and cakes for over 50 years.

The Unibic range includes an RSL-licensed ANZAC biscuit line, Weight Watchers-branded baked goods, a variety of shortbreads and European-style biscuits, and the Erica's Kitchen entertaining range.

As well as established markets in Australia and New Zealand, Unibic is growing into markets in the UK, Canada, the US and India.

If the new Harvest Kitchen Soft Centre product proves popular in Australia, Unibic expect to begin exports of the product from the Victorian facility.

At the new factory in Broadmeadows, Victoria state premier John Brumby said the company's investment had been backed by state support and demonstrated the strength of the state's manufacturing industry.

"Unibic's investment is great news for jobs, great news for the local economy and great news for the future prosperity of Victoria’s food and beverage production industry. This impressive facility has created over 50 new Victorian jobs and as Unibic continues to expand its production and research and development capabilities, even more new jobs will be created," Brumby said.

The Victorian state government committed A$500,000 to the project as part of a new strategy to further grow the state's food industry, through its A$631m 'Ready for Tomorrow: A Blueprint for Regional and Rural Victoria' initiative.

The grant has allowed Unibic to increase its permanent workforce from 120 to 170 employees, plus around 50 seasonal positions.

Unibic MD Michael Quinn said: "Today's event was about bringing together the leading lights of Victoria to show the rest of Australia and the world the significant impact Victorian industry and innovation does and can make on a global playing field.

"Few biscuit brands have ever achieved success outside of their own domestic markets due to consumer loyalty for brands they have grown up with.

However, we have seen first-hand that consumers worldwide value the very qualities that Victoria stands for – fresh ingredients, with minimal processing and artificial additives. Victoria holds the recipe for international success in its hands."


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