A UK£58 million investment in the Walkers Leicester factory, which marked the company’s biggest investment in the UK in 25 years, is being supported by packaging machinery manufacturer Redpack Packaging Machinery, who have partnered with the PepsiCo brand Walkers.
Redpack will be supplying their flow wrap machines for the project, as the investment will see a new manufacturing line installed, the replacement of existing machinery with more sustainable equipment such as changes from gas fired ovens to electric, and compact packaging equipment to reduce the amount of virgin plastic used in multipack outer packaging as well as an extensive upgrade of employee facilities for the facility’s 1120 strong workforce.
The investment also entails new training opportunities for employees, as 100 new roles are being created to manage workload across the new equipment and technology.
The news follows several investments in PepsiCo’s manufacturing facilities, including a £24m investment in the company’s Lincoln factory first announced in 2021, and further investments in the Leicester distribution centre and Skelmersdale and Coventry Walkers sites in the UK.
The installation of the new line will increase capacity at the Leicester factory and enable higher production capacity of more Walkers snacks, notably Wotsits and Monster Munch which PepsiCo said had grown in popularity, in part due to new flavours and formats such as Wotsits Crunch.
“As we look ahead to the next 75 years and future-proof our UK operations, this £58 million investment will transform our manufacturing site and installing state-of-the-art equipment will help us deliver on our ambitions on packaging and health,” said Jason Richards, Senior Vice President and General Manager, PepsiCo UK & Ireland at the time of the announcement. “Alongside upgrades to meet increased demand for our snacks, we’re proud to be investing in creating better facilities for our people, who remain at the heart of bringing our most loved snacks to households across the country.“
“We’re thrilled to be working yet again on a project to create more sustainable flow wrapped multi-packs, along with creating British jobs,” said Simon Martin from Redpack Packaging Machinery. “The new compact packaging equipment will also be installed to reduce the amount of virgin plastic used in multipack outer packaging by 56 tonnes a year.”
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