Kellogg plans to introduce three new production lines to its Belgium Pringles plant within the next two years to cater to soaring demand.
The cereal major became the number two global snacks player last year when it snapped up Pringles from Proctor & Gamble (P&G) for $2.7bn. The latest investment plans mark Kellogg's first move to expand the branded snack business in Europe after the takeover.
The expansion of the Belgium Pringles plant could generate 180 jobs in total, 60 of which the company is currently hiring for.
The plant is the only European facility producing Pringles and currently operates with six production lines. The expansion will target demand in the EMEA region.
“The demand is growing and growing, so we need to expand the plant to satisfy demand. It’s running 24/7 and it is at full capacity,” said Sarah Luvisotto, European snacks communications business partner, Pringles International.
Luvisotto told BakeryandSnacks.com the expansion will take place gradually and in two phases.
“At the moment, 60 jobs were already created and we are hiring these new employees right now as the first production line will become operational this year. Then, and as stated in the agreement with the Flemish Government, in function of the business growth and market demand for the new product, Kellogg intends to further invest in a phased way and hire more people according to production needs.”
There is potential to hire an additional 120 people over the coming two years, she added.
Pringles to drive Kellogg growth beyond Europe?
Globally, the Pringles brand was the fourth largest snack brand after PepsiCo’s Lay’s, Doritos and Cheetos products in 2012, according to data from Euromonitor. It held a 2.2% market share, compared to a Lay’s share of 6.7%.
Kellogg CEO John Bryant recently highlighted the importance the brand holds in driving the company forward in the snacks sector at an international level.
Bryant said the snack brand provides a platform for growth not only for snacks, but cereal as well, particularly in emerging markets.
“I think Pringles transforms our international business, gives us improving visibility,” he said.
Back in October, Japanese food major Morinaga secured the sales rights of Pringles in Japan. Sales commenced in January 2013.
The CEO said hopes were high for the Pringles brand in China given Kellogg’s joint venture with Wilmar that was struck late in 2012.