Roberts Bakery is looking to increase competition with Warburtons with the construction of a new bakery at its premises in Northwich.
The company is investing £10 million into the building of a third facility of this ilk in the Cheshire town to ensure that it meets the growing demand for its plant bread. However, officials explained to FoodManufacture.co.uk that Roberts would be looking to carry out a "slower, steadier organic growth" and rejected following the example of Warburtons by expanding the business into the south of the UK.
Work on the new 3,000 sq m factory is due to begin in July 2013 with a completion date earmarked for Easter 2014 when production will get underway. Managing director Mike Braddock told the news provider that once finished it will increase the bakery's capacity from the current rate of 1.7 million a week to 2.5 million.
FoodManufacture.co.uk reported that the new bakery will have a high level of automated manufacture and is set to provide a major jobs boost for the company. Staff numbers are due to rise by around 50 to 80 members of personnel to its team. Sales are also expected to grow once the construction phase is complete and will be boosted through existing multiple retail channels and convenience stores.
Tim Wild, Roberts' commercial director, added that sales had jumped by 22 per cent while volume was also up by 32 per cent over the course of the last three months. He told the news provider: "We’ve got a great product, which we will be taking to more areas and more people."
Roberts Bakery has been in operation for over 120 years with a large customer base in the UK and abroad. The company is reacting to demand from Europe by exporting more and more frequently supplying both the retail sector as well as a raft of foodservice companies including sandwich makers.
It recently announced the sale of its gluten-free business, Davies Bakery, to Boulder Brands in the US as part of a £2.5 million deal.