Premium potato chip company, Burts Chips has increased capacity at its Plymouth production site by 20% with the installation of a new high-speed potato frying line. Completing the company’s £3m investment programme for 2017, the new potato fryer will help meet the growing demand from leading retailers for its brand across the UK, the US, Canada, and EMEA.
Production at the company’s Plymouth site will increase to 200 tonnes per week of its hand cooked chips, while its fast growing Better For You range of Lentil Waves and Quinoa Crinkles will see volumes jump to 23 tonnes as consumer demand for healthy snacking options continues to flourish.
“The investment this year forms part of an on-going programme over the last 5-years that has seen nearly £12 million spent increasing production capacity and driving efficiencies at our Plymouth site,” said Burts MD, David Nairn. “This has enabled us to realise significant year-on-year growth across all areas of our UK and export business, taking the company from £11.4 million in 2013 to £24.5 million in 2016.”
Nairn continues: “This year we are on course to grow by a further 30% and the new potato fryer is integral to this success, giving us the additional capacity needed to fulfil increased demand from our existing customers, as well as driving new business and innovation.”
The fryer is the company’s second high-capacity line to be installed and the 10th overall at its Plymouth production site. It sits alongside upgrades made to the factory’s bagging system introduced to cope with the increased volumes earlier this year. Further investment is also planned in Q1 2018, with the introduction of a fully automated palletisation system.
As part of its continued investment, Burts has also added a further 12 people to its team in Plymouth to help man the new fryer and manufacture this additional volume. This brings its total headcount to 168.