Burts Potato Chips expands capacity to cope with supersonic growth

By Gill Hyslop

- Last updated on GMT

Burts Potato Chips MD David Nairn. Pic: Burts
Burts Potato Chips MD David Nairn. Pic: Burts

Related tags Burts Potato Chips Popcorn M&A Savoury and Sweet turnover

The UK snack brand is upping the size of its workforce at its recently upgraded site in Leicestershire to cope with the rising demand around the world for its snacks.

The Devon-based company saw turnover jump from £29.4m ($38.4m) to £44m ($57.5m) in the past year, following the acquisition of popcorn producer Savoury and Sweet.

It recently completed a £3m ($3.9m) investment program at the Leicestershire site – previously owned by Savoury & Sweet – almost doubling the production capacity by a further 60,000sq ft. and upgrading and installing new machinery.

Burts is also adding another 64 personnel to the site’s 120 workforce, including fryers, production operatives, machine operators, quality assurance technicians and warehouse staff.

The site currently makes three million packs of snacks a week: this is expected to double by the end of 2020.

From strength to strength

"Since acquiring the Leicester-based Sweet & Savoury in 2017, the business has gone from strength to strength, delivering a combined turnover of £44m ($57.5m) in the last year and increasing the number of jobs available by over 20% to 350 across the business,” ​said David Nairn, MD of Burts.

"While we're proud of our success in 2018, the growth into 2019 has seen the business set its sights on delivering 25% year-on-year growth and has succeeded in achieving 26% in Q1.

“Our ambition is to continue to accelerate the business to become one of the largest independent premium snacking brands in the UK."

The China connection

Last year, Burts also secured major contracts to supply products to two Chinese supermarket chains – Ole and He Ma. It also signed a contract with China’s largest recipe library app Zia Chu Fang.

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