PepsiCo future-proofs jobs and packaging strategy with $24m facelift for historic Walkers crisps factory

By Gill Hyslop contact

- Last updated on GMT

The Lincoln plant in the Midlands has been producing Quavers crisps for more than half a century. Pic: PepsiCo
The Lincoln plant in the Midlands has been producing Quavers crisps for more than half a century. Pic: PepsiCo

Related tags: Pepsico, Quavers, Packaging

PepsiCo is pumping in $24m to update its factory in Lincoln in the English East Midlands – which Walkers has called home for more than half a century – which will secure the listed building’s future while aligning it with current-day goals to reduce the use of packaging across its supply chain.

The investment will go towards new equipment, including a compact packaging machine, which is expected to slash, on average, around 30% in outer packaging across its snacks multipacks.

PepsiCo has been on a mission of late to ramp up its packaging strategy, having recently made multimillion-pound investments in its Walkers factories in Skelmersdale and Coventry – also in the Midlands – to install the same specialist compact packaging machinery.

A PepsiCo spokesperson said, “In line with our vision to build a world where packaging needs never become waste, these investments form part of our global commitment to reducing, recycling and reinventing our packaging.”

Increase production, bolstering the workforce

The upgrade will also increase production capacity at the Lincoln plant – which is dedicated to producing Quaver crisps – and make space for new production lines.

“It’s brilliant to see PepsiCo doubling-down on its commitment to Lincoln through this significant investment in the city centre factory Walkers has called home for more than half a century,”​ said PepsiCo business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng.

“This investment will help to deliver on our plan to spread opportunity across the Midlands by future-proofing the jobs of the factory’s outstanding employees by training them to use state of the art equipment, and further bolstering the workforce through their apprenticeship scheme.”

According to Nigel Beilby, operations director of the Lincoln plant, PepsiCo has a strong heritage in the Midlands, providing jobs to almost 2,000 people across its factories in Lincoln, Leicester and Coventry.

“For decades, our Lincoln factory has brought much-loved Quavers snacks to consumers up and down the country, and with this state-of-the-art technology, we’re confident that the site will continue to serve the nation for many years to come,”​ said Nigel Beilby, Lincoln site operations director, PepsiCo.

To maintain Quaver production while the Lincoln factory is being refurbished – expected by mid-2022 – PepsiCo has spent another £1m for additional equipment at its Coventry factory, which also produces Doritos, Wotsits, French Fries, Squares, Sunbites and Cheetos.

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