Mondelēz International has opened a new manufacturing line which will produce both Oreo and BelVita biscuits for the UK, Ireland and other European markets, launching the company’s first biscuit production in the UK.
The introduction of the new line, which is capable of producing over a million Oreos in 24 hours, follows a £6 million investment by Mondelēz International in biscuit manufacturing in Sheffield that will also safeguard 70 jobs.
This forms part of a wider £50 million investment in UK chocolate and biscuit manufacturing since 2010.
Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, who launched the new lines, said:
“Bringing the Oreo biscuit production line to the UK for the first time is great news for Sheffield and adds Oreos to the global brands we proudly tag ‘Made in Sheffield’. This investment is a huge boost for the city and the UK – securing local jobs and giving Sheffield employees the skills to work on yet another global brand.”
David Blunkett, MP for Sheffield Brightside and Hillsborough, said:
“It’s good to see this investment by Mondelēz International in the local area, which will undoubtedly help maintain Sheffield’s position as a premier manufacturing city and compliment the other famous brands produced here. I am pleased that Oreo will now be manufactured in Sheffield.
“The additional investment and commitment to training are particularly welcome at a time of such great uncertainty for our economy.”
Maurizio Brusadelli, President of the UK and Ireland at Mondelēz International, said:
“We are delighted to officially open the new Oreo line at Sheffield which clearly signals the importance of the UK as a manufacturing base for us. We know that Britain is a nation of biscuit lovers – it is currently the biggest biscuit market in EU.
“In addition, our Sheffield factory is currently the largest sugar confectionery plant in Europe, and our employees here have the manufacturing expertise we need to turn their hands from sweets to biscuits. This investment is a first step – we hope to follow it with further investment and innovation in biscuits.”
Ian Dearn, Head of Manufacturing at the Sheffield site said:
“Our Sheffield site has been producing much-loved brands for over one hundred years, so we are proud to have been selected to manufacture Oreo in the UK for the first time.
“The investment will increase output and productivity here in Sheffield, but we also see the opening of the new line as an important investment in the local community, which will not only add another string to our manufacturing bow, but also give us the opportunity to create new partnerships with local suppliers for the ingredients to create this iconic brand.”
Created in the US in 1912, Oreo has grown to become the biggest biscuit brand in the world, worth more than £1.3 billion globally. Arriving in the UK in 2008, it is now worth £22 million with sales growing 16 per cent year-on-year, demonstrating its increasing popularity amongst Brits.
As the market expands, the Sheffield site, which has been producing the Bassett’s brand since 1842, will become the centre of Mondelēz International’s UK biscuit operation to cater for this continued popularity.
The new oven, which will bake the Oreo biscuits, is one of the biggest in the Mondelēz International network, and will produce three tonnes of Oreos per hour. Employees at Sheffield have received dedicated training to build on their extensive sweets manufacturing experience.
This includes training at another European biscuit facility in Spain and time at Mondelez International’s Biscuit R&D Centre in Saclay, Paris.
This investment in Sheffield will pave the way for the production of BelVita Breakfast Biscuits in the UK later in the year. Following its launch in 2010, BelVita is now has sales of £50m, making it the leading breakfast biscuit in the UK and the No. 5 biscuit brand in the UK.