It will be the first time Heinz sauces have been made in the UK since 1999
Kraft Heinz is to invest £140 million over the next four years into a UK-based food manufacturing facility.
The company which makes the classic tomato ketchup, salad cream and mayonnaise plans to set up in the northwest of England. It will be the first time Heinz sauces are made in the UK since 1999.
The plans are Kraft Heinz’s biggest expansion of a manufacturing plant outside the US, where it is based, in over 20 years.
While the plans are subject to approval in the US first, they include the funding of machinery and technology.
If it goes ahead, it will bring up to 50 additional full-time jobs to the area and will be one of the biggest investments in UK manufacturing since Brexit, according to the company.
The investment will see the expansion of the Kitt Green plant near Wigan which is already Europe’s largest food manufacturing site.
The factory produces 1.3 billion cans of food a year, including Heinz’s much-loved baked beans, soup and pasta.
Following the expansion, it will add sauces to its list of items produced on-site.
In a statement, the UK Minister for Investment Gerry Grimstone, said: “The Kraft Heinz investment is a vote of confidence in the UK economy from a major US firm and a boost that will mean jobs and growth for the local economy.”
Kraft Heinz had to increase its production over the pandemic due to a shortage of individual ketchup sachets in the US.
In April this year, the rise in demand for the small packets was “driven by… accelerated delivery and take-out trends”.
Heinz is the most widely sold brand of ketchup around the world and extra production lines were added to the factories to meet the recent demand.
The company also said it has developed a no-touch ketchup dispenser to limit the spread of germs and viruses.