PepsiCo to take a position £58 million in Leicester manufacturing unit


PepsiCo UK & Eire has introduced a £58 million funding in its Walkers Leicester manufacturing unit – the group’s largest funding within the UK within the final 25 years. The manufacturing unit in Leicester is likely one of the world’s largest crisp factories and residential to Walkers crisps and snacks, which celebrates its 75th birthday this 12 months. The funding will see a brand new manufacturing line put in, the alternative of present equipment with extra sustainable tools, in addition to an in depth improve of worker services for the location’s 1,120-strong workforce.

PepsiCo has invested greater than £120 million in its UK manufacturing operations and provide chain since 2020. The size of this newest funding is purposeful in securing the way forward for the Leicester manufacturing unit and positioning Walkers – which was not too long ago named Britain’s third largest grocery model[1] – for additional development within the long-term.

Jason Richards, Senior Vice President & Basic Supervisor at PepciCo UK & Eire.

Jason Richards, Senior Vice President & Basic Supervisor at PepciCo UK & Eire, stated: “In 2023 we’re celebrating 75 years of Walkers crisps, so there’s no higher time to resume our dedication to Leicester – a metropolis and neighborhood which were essential to our success within the UK. As we stay up for the following 75 years and future-proof our UK operations, this £58 million funding will remodel our manufacturing website and putting in state-of-the-art tools will assist us ship on our ambitions on packaging and well being. Alongside upgrades to satisfy elevated demand for our snacks, we’re proud to be investing in creating higher services for our individuals, who stay on the coronary heart of bringing our most beloved snacks to households throughout the nation.

The funding has 4 focus areas designed to ship sustainable development, with particular updates being made to drive progress in the direction of packaging and well being objectives set as a part of pep+ (PepsiCo Optimistic), the group’s strategic end-to-end enterprise transformation with sustainability on the coronary heart.


Set up of the brand new line will improve capability on the manufacturing unit and allow the manufacturing of extra Walkers snacks, notably Wotsits and Monster Munch. These merchandise have grown in reputation in recent times, partially on account of new flavours and codecs resembling Wotsits Crunchy.

Moreover, Wotsits Giants and Monster Munch Giants, that are presently manufactured in Europe, might be made in Leicester as soon as building is full in 2024. This transfer will assist cut back transport-related emissions by an estimated 915 tonnes a 12 months, equal to taking round 540 automobiles off UK roads[2].


Additional upgrades embrace altering from gasoline fired ovens to electrical ones, provided with 100% renewable electrical energy, serving to reduce round 1,000 tonnes of greenhouse gasoline emissions yearly[3] – equal to the heating and cooking associated emissions of 366 UK households[4].  These efforts will drive progress in the direction of the pep+ dedication to focus on an absolute discount throughout the worth chain by greater than 40% by 2030[5], reaching net-zero emissions by 2040.

New compact packaging tools may even be put in to cut back the quantity of virgin plastic utilized in multipack outer packaging by 56 tonnes a 12 months[6], because the enterprise strikes in the direction of its pep+ objective of eliminating virgin fossil-based plastic from its crisp and snack baggage throughout Europe by 2030.

This follows sustainable meals packaging improvements introduced final 12 months, together with new cardboard designs changing outer plastic packaging on thousands and thousands of Walkers 20-bag multipacks, and using new nanotechnology to create a stronger stretch movie on our pallets that makes use of much less virgin plastic.


The funding may even herald revolutionary know-how to allow the event of additional more healthy ranges from 2024. These are set to play a key function in serving to PepsiCo to satisfy its ambition to have half of Walkers snacks gross sales come from merchandise that don’t classify as HFSS or these bought in parts of 100 kcal or much less by 2025.


The upgrades will open up new coaching and up-skilling alternatives for the 1,120 Leicester workers, with as much as 100 new roles being created to handle workload throughout the brand new tools and know-how. A significant refurbishment of worker services can also be underway, with coaching areas, a brand new on-site restaurant, trendy assembly rooms and a devoted celebration house close to completion.

This announcement follows a £24 million funding in PepsiCo UK & Eire’s Lincoln manufacturing unit introduced in 2021, in addition to additional multi-million-pound investments in its Southern Area Distribution Centre in Leicester and the Skelmersdale and Coventry Walkers websites in recent times.

[1] The Grocer/NiQ – 52 w/e 31 December 2022 


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