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High costs and lack of partnership force Warburtons to cut European export trial

By Kacey Culliney , 11-Dec-2012

High distribution costs and no success in finding a European manufacturing partner has forced UK bread manufacturer Warburtons to end its export trial with Tesco across Central Europe.

The firm launched its trial to stock bread products across Central European Tesco stores 17 months ago. Products were made available in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Poland.

In an emailed statement to BakeryandSnacks.com, Warburtons confirmed the decision to end the trial.

“Factors including high distribution costs and not being able to find a suitable manufacturing partner means that the long-term viability of exporting to these markets is limited,” it said.

The firm said that over the past seventeen months the trial has continually been reviewed and all options to move forward assessed.

“As an ambitious, growing and innovative family business, we regret having to make this decision,” it added.

Eyes on expansion

The bread firm currently has products stocked across France thanks to a contract with French retailer Casino to stock its bread products in 270 of its Monoprix stores secured in August this year.

Warburtons said that it would continue to look for new export opportunities and told this publication last year it expected to double the size of its business to £1bn ($1.6bn) over the next five years. The investment forms part of a wider diversification sector to target new sectors and markets, it said. 

In July this year, the firm diversified into the UK’s £2bn ($3.2bn) snacks sector in a move described as challenging. See HERE .

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