Walkers Receives £58m Investment, Unveils Ambitious Expansion Plans
In a groundbreaking move that signals a resounding commitment to the UK market, Walkers, the renowned maker of beloved British crisps, like Wotsits and Monster Munch, is set to receive a monumental £58 million investment. This injection of capital, the largest in the company’s history for a quarter of a century, will breathe new life into its Leicester site and spark the creation of up to 100 much-needed jobs.
As Walkers’ flagship facility, the Leicester site boasts an illustrious legacy that spans an impressive 75 years. Now, with the infusion of this substantial investment, the factory is poised to cement its status as one of the world’s largest crisp and snack manufacturing centres.
The deployment of this funding will witness the installation of a state-of-the-art manufacturing line and the replacement of existing machinery. Moreover, the site’s employee facilities, catering to its formidable 1,120-strong workforce, will undergo a significant overhaul, including the introduction of training areas, a new on-site restaurant, and meeting rooms.
PepsiCo, the proud owners of Walkers, affirm that this investment is not only instrumental in securing the factory’s future but also strategically positions the company for sustained growth in the long run. By expanding the production capacity at the Leicester site, the planned manufacturing line will enable the creation of more of Walkers’ iconic snacks, most notably the immensely popular Wotsits and Monster Munch.
Furthermore, come 2024, the factory will assume the responsibility of producing some of its crisps currently manufactured in Europe, such as the fan-favourite Wotsits Giants and Monster Munch Giants.
This substantial financial allocation will also be channelled towards the adoption of renewable electricity, powering the replacement ovens and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 1,000 tonnes annually.
Additionally, Walkers aims to address environmental concerns by implementing compact packaging equipment that significantly reduces plastic usage in snack multipacks. Notably, the company has responded to consumer demands for recyclable packaging, making strides to ensure that their products’ packaging can now be recycled at major supermarkets.
What’s more, in its unwavering pursuit of innovation, Walkers also plans to invest in the development of healthier snack ranges, catering to the evolving preferences and dietary needs of consumers. This dedication to enhancing its product offerings is a testament to the company’s commitment to meeting changing market demands.
Significantly, this monumental investment will not only bolster Walkers’ manufacturing capabilities but also create fresh opportunities for employees. With the introduction of advanced equipment and cutting-edge technology, up to 100 new roles will be established to manage the increased workload. These new positions will not only provide employment prospects but also foster a culture of continuous growth and development within the organisation.
Moreover, this landmark announcement comes hot on the heels of a £24 million investment in PepsiCo’s Lincoln factory in 2021, further demonstrating the company’s unwavering commitment to the UK market. Walkers has also made strategic investments in its Leicester distribution centre and the Skelmersdale and Coventry sites in recent years, reinforcing its position as a cornerstone of the British snack industry.
With some final thoughts in mind, it’s clear that as the crisp and snack industry continues to evolve and adapt to changing consumer preferences, Walkers’ significant investment paves the way for a vibrant future.
By combining state-of-the-art manufacturing technology, commitment to sustainability, and a renewed focus on healthier snacks, Walkers is positioned to remain a household name for generations to come. The £58 million investment stands as a testament to the brand’s unwavering dedication to quality, innovation, and the British workforce, as it continues to tantalise taste buds with its iconic crisps, delighting snack enthusiasts across the nation and beyond.
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