Real Good Food plans to double size of bakery business

By Guy Montague-Jones

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Real good food Business Food

The Real Good Food Company is bucking recessionary trends with new plans to double the size of its premium baking business.

As other luxury businesses struggled through 2009 with limp sales figures, Hayden’s bakery at the Real Good Food Company posted 15 per cent growth.

The £22m business specialises in high end bakery products and desserts that it sells to food service customers like Costa Coffee and supermarkets including Waitrose and Marks & Spenser.

Buoyed by recent sales success, Real Good Food now wants double the size of Hayden’s over the next four years.

Real Good Food executive chairman, Pieter Totté, told that the reason for the planned expansion is simply that customers are giving Hayden’s too much business.

Investment plans

So over the next year, Real Good Food will be gathering its suppliers together to enact an expansion plan that will give Hayden’s the necessary capacity to grow. This will mean investment in equipment and personnel to modernise the manufacturing process and give the company the flexibility necessary to keep up with the market.

Most of the big changes in plant size and capacity will occur this year, continuing on into next year with the big benefits expected to show on the accounts 2 years from now.

“2010 is a fabulous year to start looking at investment in people and kit,”​ said Totté. He said the food industry is coming back from the lows of last year.

New products

But for Hayden’s 2009 was a year of strong growth. Totté put this down to working hard on new product development and having a wide range of products.

The executive chairman also praised his customers whom he said have adapted very well to the marketplace. He said the industry as a whole has understood that value for money is now more important than ever so some sacrifice may have to be made to margins to ensure good sales volumes.

Hayden’s is not the only business at the Real Good Food Company. The sugar and bakery ingredients businesses which make up the bulk of the £218m sales (2008) at the company also performed well, according to Totté.

Real Good Food expects to report profits before taxation and exceptional items for the year ended 31 December 2009 of around 25 per cent above current market expectations.

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