Global food giant Rich Products (Rich’s), a leading supplier of sweet bakery products to the Retail and Foodservice markets and the largest privately owned frozen food company in the US, has opened a £multi-million state-of-the-art production site in Andover, creating a new ‘Bakery Centre of Excellence’ for the UK, Europe and the Middle East.
The 13 acre facility, which features a vast production hall, 6 highly automised production lines, and a dedicated research and development centre, marks ambitious investment in the sector and promises to future proof the business for the next 15 years.
David Hunt, managing director UK & EME, Rich Products, which turned over £45 million last year, says: “Our new Andover facility is on a scale that is unrivalled in the UK bakery sector. At a time when others are making cutbacks, this is an ambitious project marking a significant investment as we scale up our business across the UK, Europe and the Middle East.”
With six state-of-the-art production lines including a dedicated ‘smart’ line where smaller batches of artisan lines can be produced, the opportunity for business growth centres on the capability to create high quality craft bakery products at scale.
“We are a bakery at scale with a craft mentality” Hunt continues. “Andover gives us the opportunity to produce quality, consistent bakery products at scale, but retaining the ability to innovate and hand-finish as required. This is exactly what the consumer is demanding as they invest in visually-impactful sweet bakery products that are a real treat. We also have a dedicated customer solutions centre where clients can come and work collaboratively with our team. It is this consumer-centric approach alongside a focus on insight and innovation that sets our business apart.”
As well as significant investment in the new Andover site, Rich’s has also recruited three of the industry’s top talents to its steering team to build its commercial and marketing capabilities as the business grows:
John Want, who joins Rich’s as marketing director, has almost 20 years’ experience in FMCG commercial and brand marketing including Adelie Foods and Ginsters. Want will be responsible for driving growth across all channels, whilst elevating Rich’s business reputation in the wider market.
Hazel Tomkinson, who joins Want on the steering team as insight and innovation director, also has a proven track record in the industry, having worked with global FMCG businesses including Mars Inc., Burger King, and Schwan’s International. Tomkinson will be responsible for managing innovation acceleration, and maximising opportunities from the new production lines.
John Moore, previously at Adelie, PepsiCo, and Bacardi, also joins Rich’s steering team as commercial director, and will be responsible for accelerating sales growth out of Andover.
Hunt continues: “Bringing the best talent into Rich UK is absolutely fundamental to business growth, delivering the full service to our customers at the highest level, from operations and technical through to marketing and innovation. Our new steering team will be central to building our strengths and capabilities across Sales, Marketing and Product Development to achieve competitive advantage as we accelerate business growth out of Andover and beyond.”