Unilever is investing 80m reais ($16.2m) in expanding its production of Hellmann’s mayonnaise at a facility in Brazil.

A new line is being added to Unilever’s Pouso Alegre plant, in Brazil’s south-eastern state of Minas Gerais, the company’s “largest food operation in Latin America”.

The company announced the news during a visit by the vice-governor of Minas Gerais, Mateus Simões, earlier this week.

The construction work is expected to be completed by May 2025. The new line is expected to provide the site with a “double-digit” increase in production capacity.

Just Food has asked Unilever to confirm the present annual production levels at the site.

First opened in 1974, the Pouso Alegre facility produces more than 200 SKUs, Unilever told Just Food, which include Hellmann’s mayonnaise, as well as Knorr bouillon cubes.

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Some 800 employees work at the plant. Unilever did not disclose whether the investment would create any new roles.

Unilever's nutrition division in Brazil has grown 50% over the last three years, the company said, with the Hellmann's brand doubling in size in the period, without providing figures.

Edmundo Mollo, director of the Pouso Alegre factory, said the investment demonstrated the company's "priority of meeting the consumption potential of the market".

He added: "With the increase in production capacity, we have structured ourselves to accompany the growth of the Hellmann's brand in Brazil and continue generating more and more environmental and socioeconomic benefits for the region.

"The Pouso Alegre factory, in addition to being responsible for manufacturing Unilever’s main food brands, is also a reference in sustainable actions.”