By Jennifer HarbyBBC News
5 minutes ago
The investment means the creation of up to 100 new jobs, the company said
Walkers – the makers of British crispy classics such as Wotsits and Monster Munch – expect a £58 million investment and up to 100 new jobs at the Leicester site.
PepsiCo owners said it was the UK’s biggest investment in 25 years.
The site – one of the world’s largest chips and snack factories – is celebrating its 75th anniversary.
PepsiCo said the investment would install a new production line and replace existing machines.
Leicester-born Gary Lineker became the face of the Walkers brand in the 1990s
It also means major work on staffing facilities for the site’s 1,120 employees, including training rooms, a new on-site restaurant and meeting rooms.
PepsiCo said the investment would help secure the plant’s future and position Walkers for further long-term growth.
It said the planned production line would help increase capacity at the factory and allow production of more Walkers snacks, particularly Wotsits and Monster Munch, which have grown in popularity in recent years.
Some chips, such as Wotsits Giants and Monster Munch Giants, currently produced in Europe, will be made in Leicester once construction is complete in 2024.
PepsiCo said sales of Wotsits and Monster Munch were up
The money will also be used to replace ovens so they will be powered by renewable electricity, which PepsiCo says would help reduce emissions of about 1,000 tons of greenhouse gases per year, as well as installing compact packaging equipment to remove plastic from multipacks for cutting snacks. .
It said the packaging can now be recycled at major supermarkets.
The company also plans to invest in the development of even more ranges of healthier snacks.
The company said the changes would help increase capacity at the plant
Jason Richards, senior vice president and general manager at PepsiCo UK and Ireland said: “In 2023 we will be celebrating 75 years of Walkers chips, so there is no better time to renew our commitment to Leicester – a city and community that have been pivotal to our success in the UK.
“As we look ahead to the next 75 years and future-proof our UK operations, this £58 million investment will transform our manufacturing site and the installation of state-of-the-art equipment will help us deliver on our packaging and health ambitions.
“In addition to upgrades to meet increased demand for our snacks, we are proud to invest in creating better facilities for our people, who continue to be at the heart of bringing our most loved snacks to households across the country .”
The Leicester site is one of the world’s largest crisp and snack factories
He added that the investment also brings new employee training opportunities, creating up to 100 new roles to manage the workload of the new equipment and technology.
This announcement follows a £24 million investment in PepsiCo’s Lincoln factory announced in 2021, as well as further investment in the Leicester distribution center and the Skelmersdale and Coventry Walkers sites in recent years.