Cerealto, the international business of Spanish food firm Grupo Siro, has outlined a EUR68m (US$78.2m) investment into growing its business internationally and enhancing its presence in the UK’s gluten-free sector.

The investment is part of its strategic plan and spans until 2020.

Cerealto said it planned to focus the investment on the “strategic markets” of Portugal, the UK and the US. A spokesperson later told just-food Italy and Mexico would also be areas of focus.

“We will invest in the adaptation and improvement of our recently acquired factories in Mexico and Portugal to bring them to the strictest food safety and quality standards; in line with the rest of the Cerealto Group,” she said.

In March this year, Cerealto acquired a factory in Portugal from Mondelez International. At the end of last year it bought a plant in Mexico from biscuit maker Marian and prior to this it acquired baby food manufacturing facility Nutriceal Foods from Danone.

The spokesperson said the investment will allow the group to increase exports. In the UK, plans for the investment involve a greater focus on gluten-free private-label product development. 

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“We are continuing to invest in new technologies and R&D, with a particular focus on gluten-free. Our gluten-free range will [feature] products across all [of] our product categories – cookies, snacks, bread, pastries, baby food, cereal,” said the spokesperson.

The new round of investment will see the creation of 250 jobs in 2016. The spokesperson did not specify which areas of the business this would be in but said it would be “across the whole Cerealto group”.