Tulip, the UK arm of Danish Crown, is to invest in a site in the country to support the production of “non-pastry, traditional snacks”.
The company is spending GBP2.3m (US$3m) on its facility in Ruskington in eastern England, a factory the business says is “the world’s largest Scotch egg manufacturer and the UK’s leading producer of cocktail sausages”.
Tulip said it is setting up a “smaller specialist factory on-site” that will “bring complex niche products” it develops for retailers “to store quickly and efficiently”. The company would not disclose what the products are, insisting it was “commercially sensitive information”.
However, Tulip insisted the investment would “provide greater capacity and capability to the production of higher volume lines, better equipping the site to meet the demands for further growth in the snacking category”.
In a statement, Shaun Kay, Tulip’s operations director, said the investment would “future-proof the site and help us lead the way on innovation alongside our retail partners”. He added: “This investment will support the continued growth we have seen in our core product lines thanks to a resurgence in popularity of non-pastry traditional snacks such as Scotch eggs and savoury bites. We are also investing in a dedicated facility and state-of-the-art equipment to support the development of a range of niche products which can be more complex to produce.”
Andrew Cracknell, Tulip’s CEO, said the move “shows how we are driving growth in the snacking category, offering products containing a variety of protein, flavours and dips to appeal to younger consumers”.
The Ruskington site employs 450 staff. The investment will not see any more jobs created. In February, Tulip warned it could lay off hundreds of workers at another UK facility after losing out in a tender with a “major customer”.
In January, meat giant Danish Crown warned it may be forced to eliminate around 300 to 400 jobs due to the underperforming Tulip business and also postpone planned projects. However, further details were not provided.
Tulip turned in a bigger-than-expected operating loss of DKK260m (US$39.1m) last year. After launching a detailed review of the business, Danish Crown said the subsidiary’s operating costs were too high and the company had been unable to “optimise” its UK supply chain. A consequent DKK200m cost-cutting plan was put in place, resulting in the loss of 150 Tulip jobs.