Canadian food group Maple Leaf Foods plans to increase its sales of New York Bakery Co. branded-bagels in the UK by expanding production and increasing marketing spend.

The company said it will invest GBP11.5m (US$17.6m) to add a new production line to its factory in Rotherham. The move will make the facility the largest bagel factory in Europe, the group said.

Maple Leaf also plans to spend GBP3m to increase communications in a bid to drive category growth.

The move follows the relaunch of the New York Bakery Co. brand in January, which resulted in a 30% sales lift in the first quarter along with “expected strong growth still to come”, the company said.

Maple Leaf Bakery UK MD Cliff Irwin added: “Our strong performance is the product of the market’s growing demand for bagels, the quality and authenticity of our product and our carefully planned relaunch earlier this year. We are excited about increasing our sales in the UK market and are confident in our expansion plans.”

Irwin added the backing of parent company Maple Leaf will allow the group to continue to expand its presence in the UK market for the next five to ten years.