Seabrook Crisps, owned by Japan-headquartered snacks maker Calbee, is channelling investment into its UK plant.
The crisps producer, which Calbee acquired in 2018 for an undisclosed sum, has received planning approval from authorities for a 4,000 square-metre expansion at its site in Bradford in northern England
Seabrook Crisps, owned by the private-equity arm of Lloyds Bank before being bought by the Japanese snacks company, will invest £12m ($14.6m) in the crinkle-cut crisps project, a spokesperson for Calbee confirmed, adding 15 jobs will be created at the facility.
The same plant was the recipient of a £3m cash injection in 2021 to increase production by 10%. The spokesperson said the latest investment is due to rising demand in the UK market.
Work on the expansion project is now underway and is expected to be completed around July of next year.
“The extension, which spans 4,000 square metres, will include new potato processing, frying and bagging equipment, followed later by additional warehousing. Once fully complete, this expansion will lead to a 70% increase in manufacturing capacity,” Calbee said via the spokesperson.
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“This investment supports our long-term strategy and ambition for greater scale, brand growth and increasing our market share. By expanding our facility we will be growing our core crisp business and expanding into new formats and occasions while continuing to deliver great tasting, great quality, affordable products that consumers can enjoy every day.”
Seabrook Crisps also has a straight-cut range, along with puffed snacks and rings supplied into major UK retailers. Its snacks are vegetarian, with most gluten-free and coeliac-accredited.
Jonathan Bye, who was previously CEO of the crisps maker pre-acquisition, is now the chairman of Calbee UK, according to his LinkedIn page.
Calbee also supplies the plant-based snack brand Harvest Snaps in the UK. As well as the Bradford facility, Calbee has another site in Deeside in north-east Wales.
The Japanese parent issued its first-half results this week to 30 September. Sales rose 10.4% to Y147.1bn ($978.1m), while net profit climbed 31.8% to Y11.2bn. Calbee does not break down the performance by individual countries.