Quorn Foods aims to invest £30M at its Billingham site, creating 400 jobs, it claims, to keep pace with soaring consumer demand for meat-free products.
The company plans to create a third fermenter at the Billingham factory, County Durham, boosting production by 50%.
While press reports of figures have varied, Quorn confirmed today (April 25) it expected the investment to create approximately 300 jobs among the firm and its suppliers.
A small number of roles would also be created at the company’s global headquarters in Stokesley, North Yorkshire, plus 100 construction jobs over the course of the 18-month installation process, it said.
The announcement of the investment yesterday (April 24) followed a sustained 15-month period of record-breaking growth for the company.
Fastest ever growth
The firm’s sales grew by 13.5% in the first quarter of 2014. UK and international sales grew by 12% and 21% respectively. UK sales increased by 13% last year, the company’s fastest ever growth rate, it claimed. In addition, it said non-vegetarian shoppers now outnumbered its vegetarian buyers.
“While most of the food industry is seeing very little growth, the last 15 months have been our best yet, with the company recording double-digit growth every month,” said Quorn Foods ceo Kevin Brennan.
“An ever-growing number of people are rethinking their meat eating habits and realising that 500 meals a year with meat is too much for our health and the planet.
“Consequently, we’ve found ourselves struggling to keep up as demand for our products has soared and we’re now in a position where we need to significantly increase production to maintain growth.”
Quorn has made a number of recent strategic investments across the business to drive growth.
They include £15M in global marketing for 2014 to promote the brand as a healthy protein and increase its appeal to consumers committed to health and fitness.
The company employs around 600 people and exports to 13 countries around the world, including Australia and the US.
Quorn’s core ingredient is a naturally-occurring fungus or mycoprotein, which replicates the texture and taste of meat.
For the latest jobs in food and drink manufacturing, visit FoodManJobs .