Kraft Heinz, the food giant behind Heinz and Philadelphia, has tabled plans for a £140m investment in Wigan’s Kitt Green, Europe’s largest food manufacturing facility today.
The investment would aim to bring Heinz sauce making back to the UK to bolster its European capacity.
In one of the largest post-Brexit investments in the UK, it would be the heftiest investment in an existing manufacturing site outside of the US by the firm in over two decades.
“Not only are we excited to be expanding our product mix by bringing sauces back to the UK but also look forward to a more efficient facility with a sustainable future,” Kitt Green site director, Luis Spinardi, said.
‘Good for the heart’
The proposal, while subject to final US approval from the food giant later in the year, could create up to 50 new full-time positions.
The food giant, the third-largest food and beverage company in North America and the fifth-largest food and beverage company in the world, will focus on modernising the site over the next four years.
The modernisation of the site is set to shrink its non-renewable resource use, produce fully recyclable items and help cut its CO2 emissions.
Currently producing 1.3bn cans of food per year, of which 94 per cent is consumed in the UK, the Kitt Green site will continue to make its Heinz Beanz, Soups and Pasta products.
“We are now in the fortunate position where Kitt Green can become a much more modern facility and our teams will have the ability to adopt more contemporary ways of working whilst exemplifying the highest global standards for food manufacturing,” Spinardi added.
The investment was also welcomed by Joe Clarke, a national official for food, drink and agriculture at Unite the Union.
He said that after “Brexit and near the end of a global pandemic, this is tremendous news for the hardworking members at Kraft Heinz and reflects the exceptional cooperative working that has been built upon over many years especially over the past 12 months with everybody pulling together through Covid, keeping the nation fed throughout the global pandemic.
“Here’s just rewards for everybody’s hard work and effort.”