UK – German confectionery company Haribo is investing £22 million (US$31.05 million) to enhance technologies and production capabilities at its manufacturing facility in Castleford, West Yorkshire.
Haribo says the investment will be used to enhance technologies at the purpose-built UK site and deliver additional capacity, greater efficiencies and reduced costs.
In addition, Haribo plans to use part of the finances to strengthen its product reformulation efforts, with sugar reduction as a key focus.
The company has already launched a number of reduced-sugar products such as its Fruitilicious gum sweets and reformulated its Jelly Babies to reduce sugar content.
Haribo is targeting to reduce sugar on a variety of its products in an effort to improve to make them appealing to consumers who are increasingly critical of their sugar intake.
Several lobby groups have been petitioning the UK government to do more to protect the nation from sugar-related diseases such as obesity and diabetes.
To make the choice easier – or harder depending on how you look at it – the UK recently launched a ‘sugar tax’ on sweetened drinks.
Officially called the Soft Drinks Industry Levy (SDIL), the tax puts a charge of 24p on drinks containing 8g of sugar per 100ml and 18p a litre on those with 5-8g of sugar per 100ml, directly payable by manufacturers to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).
The levy was introduced in April 2018 as part of the Government’s childhood obesity strategy and it aims to reduce sugar consumption by persuading companies to reformulate their high sugar brands and avoid paying the levy.
In response to this legislation, a number of confectionery companies, most notably Unilever have made efforts towards reducing sugar in their confectionery.
The new investment is expected to continue bolstering Haribo’s efforts to make its products “guilt-free” indulgences.
The £22 million investment will be rolled out throughout this year and is said to reiterate Haribo’s commitment to the UK market.
“As we continue to face tough challenges following the ongoing impact of Covid-19, we are showing our resilience and commitment to world-class production in an increasingly competitive market,” said Jon Hughes, managing director of Haribo UK.
“Investing £22 million into our already world-class manufacturing facility will give us greater opportunity to produce the variety of sweets that we know bring childlike happiness to our customers. We focus on making great-tasting treats that are just sweet enough and will continue to look for ways to reduce sugar content where we can.”
Last year, Haribo Group announced that it would be beginning construction of its first-ever manufacturing plant in the US, stating that it would invest over US$300 million in the project.
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