Finland’s Paulig is set to invest €42m ($45.4m) in a new production plant in Spain for its savoury snacking division.

The food and beverage group did not disclose the final location of the facility, which is expected to become operational in 2026.

A Paulig spokesperson told Just Food the investment will “cover different phases and it contemplates new production lines that will increase our current capabilities”, starting with a focus on tortilla chips.

Rolf Ladau, CEO of Paulig, said: “This investment marks an important step in the execution of our international growth strategy. It will further strengthen our position in the Tex Mex and snacking categories in Europe after the acquisition of the snacking company Liven in Spain in 2022. It will also increase the company’s innovation capabilities in these categories.

“Snacking is currently one of the fastest growing categories within the food sector. We are firmly committed to accelerating profitable growth in this category over the long term, in collaboration with our trade partners. Our snacks are made from sustainable raw materials that enable the inclusion of vegetables, fruits, grains, pulses, and vegetable oils.”

Helsinki-based Paulig acquired Liven in January 2022. Zanuy is the commercial brand of Liven. However, Paulig did not disclose whether the new plant would be dedicated to producing Liven products.

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The Finnish group also last year installed a new ingredient line at the Liven factory in Catalonia, which makes the Zanuy Tex Mex brand. The site now produces 3D ‘pellets’ – ingredients that are fried or expanded by air before being seasoned and packaged.

Thomas Panteli, senior vice president of supply chain and sourcing, added: “We are planning to inaugurate our new factory during 2026. We want to be a trusted partner for our customers, and with the new facility, we are dedicated to maintaining a steady supply of innovative snacks to meet growing demand in the future.

“We want to offer our customers high-quality products that are made in a sustainable and efficient way. Furthermore, we currently employ approximately 340 people in Spain and anticipate hiring many more in the years ahead.”

The food and beverage group could not disclose any specific data about the new facility’s production capacity.

Paulig operates in 13 countries and has production facilities in six countries including Finland, Sweden, Estonia, the UK, Spain and Belgium. Paulig’s snacks factories are located in Spain and Belgium.

The business owns two plants in Spain, as well as a logistics centre in Ocaña, near Madrid. The Spanish head office is located in Sant Cugat, Barcelona.

Paulig’s revenue increased by 5.6% to €1.7bn in the group’s fiscal 2023. Comparable EBITDA grew by 57.2% and totalled €137.2m. Net profit fell 19.9% to €89.1m.