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March 22, 2021

Natures Way Foods expands UK salad factory

Natures Way Foods is preparing for the summer salad season with plans to expand one of its four manufacturing sites.

By Dean Best

Natures Way Foods, a predominately private-label business in the UK, is preparing for the summer salad season with plans to expand one of its four manufacturing sites.

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The privately-owned convenience foods supplier to the retail and foodservice channels has earmarked a “multi-million pound” investment to increase the size of its plant in Selsey, West Sussex, by 2,500 square meters to 12,400 square meters, with work expected to be completed this summer.

Natures Way Foods (NWF), which was founded in 1994, supplies bagged leafy salad items to major retailers such as Tesco, Sainsbury and Morrisons, and also serves out-of-home and on-the-go customers such as McDonald’s and Pret A Manger.

Gary Kilhams, the general manager of the Selsey factory, said in a statement: “I’m proud to lead this exceptional site as experts in baby-leaf production. The demand for baby-leaf products – spinach, watercress and the like – is on the rise and we will deliver the best quality and service to our customers.”

A spokesperson told just-food market demand across the channels in which NWF operates had dropped around 60% during the first lockdown a year ago – with foodservice essentially shutdown – and despite a pick-up since, its business is still down around 30% from pre-coronavirus levels. However, retail held up amid increased home cooking.

“Our category in bagged salads and coleslaw, other than food-to-go, has fared really well within Covid because of the fact more people are eating at home,” the spokesperson said, confirming private label accounts for 95% of an annual turnover of just shy of GBP200m (US$276.7m). The company only supplies the UK market and does not export because of the shelf-life factor in keeping the produce fresh. 

NWF’s plant in Selsey serves the private-label retail sector with items such as mixed bag salads and lettuce and the latest investment, which will create 100 jobs, is the third ploughed into the site since it opened in 1995. 

The company avoided most of the issues around Brexit because it sources fresh produce from UK farmers, so “that has worked in our favour”, although NWF does have some supply from Spain, the spokesperson added.  

But labels of origin are now required to send produce to Northern Ireland.

“Even though Northern Ireland is part of the UK, if we are sending product to Northern Ireland that product could in theory end up across the border and be in Ireland, and therefore, as a manufacturer, you need to have your European manufacturing address on-pack,” the spokesperson said.

Related Companies

Free Whitepaper
img

What is the impact of historically high inflation on the UK consumer landscape?

The average UK consumer is experiencing a severe cost-of living crisis as inflation surges to a forty-year high and the price of goods continues to rise. This shock is the result of the sharply increasing costs of commodities, energy, and the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, and is threatening FMCG manufacturers, retailers, and foodservice operators’ ability to survive and grow. Inflation will have a profound effect on many consumer-facing industries in 2022 and beyond. Consult GlobalData’s new whitepaper, Inflation in the UK: The Impact of Historically High Inflation on the UK Consumer Landscape, to better understand shifts in consumer behavior and their impact on spending patterns, as well as the implications for UK businesses. This whitepaper covers:  
  • Why has global inflation returned with a vengeance?
  • What is the current inflation situation in the UK?
  • What impact is inflation having on UK retail sales?
  • What tactics are businesses relying on to tackle the effects of high inflation?
  • How are consumers changing their behaviors to cope with the higher cost of living?
  • Which industry sectors are most vulnerable to reduced consumer demand?
  • How is the government responding to high inflation?
  • How long will high inflation last in the UK?
  • How can your company survive and thrive in a high inflation environment?
Enter your details here to receive your free whitepaper and ready your business for these increasingly uncertain times.
by GD50 Custom
Enter your details here to receive your free Whitepaper.

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