Md James Hirst told FoodManufacture.co.uk that the £10m turnover company currently employs 60 staff, and would start building work at its site near Selby this summer, after winning a grant from Yorkshire Bank.
Two new 30,000 sq ft units will integrate new ‘cluster technology’ for cereals, while increased capacity on the meat-free side will allow Brecks to expand its product range and client base.
Brecks supplies global confectioners with cereals, and also produces snack bars and breakfast cereals; it also sells meat-free products to major UK retailers and other food manufacturers.
Hirst said the work was scheduled for completion sometime next year, but that it was hard to say exactly when. “It depends on kit suppliers. It’s a 12-18 month project, but we don’t have a precise deadline.”
Hirst said cereal cluster technology was fairly new, and identified it as a growth area, hence the investment: “Confectioners are getting into chocolate-covered cereal clusters, granola-style clusters and the like, which you must have seen used in breakfasts cereals,” he said.
Investment in meat-free facilities also means that Brecks is well-placed to benefit from expected growth in that sector. Mintel’s latest statistics valued UK meat-free sales at £553m in 2010, but the research firm expects the market to grow to £673m by 2015.
Meat free growth
Quorn ceo Kevin Brennan told this publication in March that the UK meat-free market would grow significantly, due to weight management- and health concerns, while he said the vegetarian market was also increasing.
Brecks produces soya and wheat-based meat-free products, and although Hirst broadly agreed with the growth trend, he said: “Meat reducers are buying meat free products.
“I don’t think vegetarianism is necessarily up. People want to lead a healthier lifestyle and also save money by cutting-out meat one to two times per week.”
Although Hirst declined to reveal a precise turnover growth target for Brecks after the expansion, he said:“I expect it to increase quite significantly, but it will obviously take time.”
News of Brecks’ Selby investment follows Bakkavör’s announcement in early June that it plans to shed 100+ jobs at its nearby English Village Salads site, after losing an Asda contract.