One of Fife’s biggest food producers, Quaker Oats at Cupar, has announced a £14.4 million investment that will increase capacity and bring 30 more jobs to the local area.
The investment, which builds on last year’s £8.5 million spend, makes a total of £51 million that parent company PepsiCo has spent on the site over the past decade to meet the surge in consumer demand for porridge.
The announcement came on the day that Prime Minster David Cameron popped in for some healthy breakfast and a tour of the extensive plant.
The visit coincided with a period of substantial growth for a UK porridge market now worth £157 million – the hot cereal market has grown by 30% over the past two years
For PepsiCo, the public’s appetite for quick and easy porridge has helped drive growth with value sales of Oat So Simple sachets increasing 44% over the last two years.
In addition to growth in the UK, PepsiCo has also seen its oats exports rise by 18% over the past five years as demand for Quaker Oats increases in the Middle East.
Commenting on the investment, Richard Evans, President of PepsiCo UK, Ireland & South Africa, said:
“More and more people are choosing a porridge breakfast because it’s both healthy and good value – this investment at Cupar means we’ll be able to satisfy the increasing demand at home and abroad for years to come”
“The porridge market has seen phenomenal growth and what’s particularly interesting is that hot cereals are now being eaten all-year round and not just in winter. Overseas demand for our oats is also increasing, and we see this as a key area for future growth.
“Quaker has been milling oats at Cupar since 1947 and we are proud to invest again in this site to recognise our fantastic team here and continue to grow the Quaker Oats business.”
The prime minister said that Quaker and Scott’s Porage Oats have a long heritage in the UK, and PepsiCo’s further investment of £14.4 million is a welcome example of continued commitment to Cupar and to Britain.
“The company’s continued success is testament to the skill, expertise and hard work of the people here at Cupar and I’m delighted to see the business going from strength to strength, expanding the site, creating jobs, and increasing their exports abroad,” said Mr Cameron.
Construction work began at Cupar this month with the foundations being laid for a new building that will house a new high-speed sachet line and a new bagging line.
Cupar is home to Quaker Oats and Scott’s Porage Oats.