Rooted in tradition: Hill Biscuits looks ahead

UK-based biscuit manufacturer Hill Biscuits is approaching its 170th anniversary, navigating a future rooted in its rich heritage and commitment to value-for-money products. Known for its production of traditional British biscuits, the company has experienced a significant increase in sales revenue since 2021, achieving a 50% growth in 2023.

Guided by its CEO Frank Bird, who assumed the role in May 2023, Hill Biscuits is embracing its heritage and strategically positioning itself for sustained growth. With extensive bakery industry experience, including senior leadership roles at Delifrance and Aryzta, Frank takes huge pride in leading the company during this exciting phase, recognising the resilience that has characterised Hill Biscuits over the years.

The spotlight is now on the newly appointed senior team, which comprises of Operations Director Simon Worth; CFO Brendon Ward-Banner; and the newly appointed Commercial Director, Tracey Meadows. Together, they are spearheading transformative initiatives to enhance working practices, focusing on improving business performance while setting new benchmarks in Quality Control, People Development and Process Control.

Frank Bird’s business background provides a unique perspective to food manufacturing and has enabled the company to scrutinise processes and discover efficiency gains. Looking ahead, Hills Biscuits will be announcing investments in expanding on-site capacity throughout 2024 to ensure it meets increasing demand for its products and the evolving requirements of its client portfolio.

“The senior team is now leading a transformation of the working practices at the factory, establishing new standards across the company with a data-driven approach. Our focus spans all areas of the business, developing a pivotal point on efficiency and bakery performances, whilst ensuring that quality is at the heart of our enhancements,” commented Frank Bird, CEO, Hill Biscuits. “The delivery of our plans will be supported through improving our emphasis on people development and acquiring natural succession within the business in all key roles, while also having an adaptive focus on process improvement and preventative maintenance.”

As the bakery market proves challenging and consumer trends shift, the company has focused on traditional, quality biscuits. The emphasis is on providing consumers value for money with products such as Custard Creams, Fruit Shorties and other flavoured cream sandwiched biscuits.

“There has been a lot of movement in the market recently with some manufacturers making the decision to follow the premium trend which in turn has created opportunities for Hill’s to expand on its ability in producing traditional quality biscuits, which is what Hill is all about,” added Frank.

“In 2024 it would be great to explore potential co-manufacturing partnerships where we can relaunch our Sarah Hill brand, named after one of the founders of the company in 1855, a premium product range that includes cookie type products and potentially even coated biscuits. This move could also increase Hill’s overall market presence, creating innovative opportunities in new product ranges and for further partnerships.”

In 2024, Hill will be making a significant capital investment in expanding its capacity, continuing over a 12-to-17-month period delivering various key projects to meet demand and be more diverse in delivering for customer needs.

“There is an equal significance placed on process and product development, creativity should always extend to operating methods as much as product design, this is where we are focussing our capital investments. Leveraging my experiences, along with the knowledge within the team, we are meticulously scrutinising our business, identifying inefficiencies, and adjusting practices to optimise productivity, enabling us to manage capability and costs without compromising quality,” said Frank.

“We are confident in our strategies and excited about developing the future of the company to meet the demand for our everyday biscuits. We are in a strong position where we can lead on cost and value, with a quality range of products,” concluded Steve Greenhalgh, Executive Chairman, Hill Biscuits.

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Media contact

Caitlin Gittins
Editor, International Bakery
Tel: +44 (0) 1622 823 920

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