Calbee set to start production in Wales in June

Calbee set to start production in Wales in June

Japanese snacks group Calbee has confirmed production at its new UK plant will start in June.

Calbee is in the middle of recruiting for production and warehouse staff at the site in Deeside, an area of north-east Wales where a number of businesses are located, including Tata Steel.

The company first announced plans for the factory last autumn and has set a date when manufacturing will start. Calbee has yet to disclose what specific lines will be made at what is set to be its first production plant in Europe. Calbee has disclosed it wants to generate sales of GBP65m (US$96.7m) within the next five years.

"The Deeside plant will start production in June," a spokesperson told just-food today (12 March). "The snacks will sit under the better-for-you category but we are not in a position to announce specifics or brands at this stage."

?The company's Snapea crisps are on sale at Whole Foods Market stores in the UK through an importer but the spokesperson said it expected "all stocks to be exhausted by the end of the month".

She added: "Snapea is not the product that will launch in the UK. Consumers will no longer be able to purchase this product as plans proceed for the launch in June."

Last month, Calbee announced plans to open a subsidiary in Spain, with the company set to start selling its Harvest Snaps product in the country.

Calbee said it planned to establish the production and sales arm in April, although it did not disclose where the subsidiary would be based. It is aiming for annual net sales of JPY5bn (US$41.2m) by the end of fiscal year 2021.

The company, in which PepsiCo owns a 20% stake, saw group sales hit JPY199.94trn in the year to the end of March 2014, up over 11% on the previous year.

Calbee is set to publish annual results for the current financial year in May.