2 Sisters invests £55 million to drive growth in its ready meals


Wednesday, 07 October, 2015


One of the UK’s largest food producers, 2 Sisters, is investing £55 million in its Meal Solutions Division to support further growth, create state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities and secure jobs.

2 Sisters’ Meal Solutions produces a range of products including ready meals, soups and sauces. The division is wholly focused on own-label products and predominantly produces ready meals, soups and sauces for Marks & Spencer out of four factories: Pennine Foods in Sheffield; RF Brookes in Rogerstone; Cavaghan & Gray in Carlisle; and Recipe Dish Soups in Grimsby. The majority of the investment will be used to completely rebuild Pennine Foods, with the remainder being allocated to refurbish and expand capacity at both the Rogerstone and Carlisle sites.

Pennine is a purpose-built site, originally established in 1986, which has now reached full capacity. A £38 million rebuild will develop best-in-class commercial and operational processes to support continued innovation, expand capacity and drive further profitability. The strengthened operational platform will enable 2 Sisters to continue to grow its position as the market leader in ready meals production in the UK.

To avoid disruption for customers, work at Pennine will be phased with some capacity transferring to both Rogerstone and Carlisle from April 2016. The transferred capacity will remain at those sites, creating the opportunity for new ranges to be produced at Pennine once work is completed at the end of 2017. The refurbishment program will help safeguard up to over 800 jobs at Pennine.

Simon Wookey, divisional managing director at 2 Sisters Food Group, said: “Our investment in the ready meal chilled division is fully supported and welcomed by our customers. We continue to see an opportunity to drive further market share growth in the ready meal sector, supported by a new state-of-the-art factory in Sheffield.

“On average, the ‘chilled ready meals’ sector is growing at roughly 3% per annum, and our chilled division is outpacing that growth. It will also create significant opportunities to improve the way we operate as a business whilst also helping to safeguard and potentially create jobs in all our factories.”

Paul Willgoss, director of food technology at Marks & Spencer, said: “This is a significant investment by a key supplier. It supports our growth plans and will help us continue to deliver the highest quality and innovation in our products.”

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