New Wales expansion
Brighter Foods creates own-label products for other retailers, as well as its own gluten and dairy-free brand Wild Trail. They currently have 150 food jobs filled across the company, largely based at their headquarters in Tywyn, North Wales. The plant is situated across from another factory which was sitting empty – and which they have now purchased in order to expand their facilities.
Halo Foods, which closed down in 2013, had been the one-time owner of the site. Brighter Foods will refurbish the site before putting it into use, and once it is operational, they will be able to truly separate their facilities so that products containing gluten or nuts are created in a different building to those which don’t. That will give them the highest possible standard of segregation between ingredients for the recipes, which is fantastic news for their allergy ratings.
They will also be able to purchase some new manufacturing equipment, which will include chillers, cookers, wrappers, and formers. Along with all of this progress, they will also be adding 50 production and manufacturing jobs to bring their total workforce up to 200 people.
The firm has said that the move is part of their attempt to remove the risk of any repercussions of Brexit, by manufacturing any products which will be sold in the UK inside the UK. They will therefore also be better placed to meet the demands of their existing customers, as well as being able to take on more new clients.
“Over the last couple of years up to a third of Brighter Foods' sales has been via products made outside the UK,” said a spokesperson from the company. “This investment should get us to a place where it is less than 10%. We will, at the same time, be growing overall sales by over a third, all of which will be manufactured in the UK. But we have a good relationship with our European partners and will still be working with them to manufacture products. As for the supply chain, we buy local wherever possible, and import ingredients from around the world which are not grown in Wales or the UK. We will carry on with this policy.”
The company was also quick to point out that they had not only relied on working with partners in the EU, but had flourished as a result of those partnerships.
“Food manufacturers have been concerned about Brexit, particularly the fear of steep tariff barriers,” said Robin Williams, the Chief Executive and founder of Brighter Foods. “Our latest investment should give confidence to the Tywyn workforce, and to our clients who want a continued high level of innovation and customer service. When we launched Brighter Foods, we refurbished an old warehouse with what we could afford, but always had dreams for an additional newbuild as we grew. But to be able to breathe new life into the old Halo factory is fantastic. This investment will mean that we will have three production lines in Tywyn, benefiting from the latest equipment, and that our team will grow to around 200 over the next 12 months.”
They expect their first phase of investment to be fully operational by January 2019. After that, a further three phases are planned which will be completed in the 6 to 12 months after the launch.