Growing global demand has led to a multi-million pound investment to double production at a Scottish crisp manufacturer.
Since being launched four years ago, Mackie’s crisps are now sold in 20 countries and sales this year are predicted to rise by almost 50 per cent to £4.6 million.
The growth has led Mackie’s at Taypack – the joint venture set up between Aberdeenshire-based ice-cream manufacturer Mackie’s of Scotland and Perthshire potato farmers the Taylor family – to invest a seven-figure sum in a factory at Errol, close to its existing facility at Moncur, Perthshire.
Production will more than double when the firm relocates to the site, which is 60 per cent bigger than its current unit, with the number of 150g bags produced rising from 96,000 to 201,000 during a single shift.
A number of jobs are expected to be created to add to the exisiting 30-strong workforce.
The food company is developing the Errol site with the assistance of a substantial funding package from Clydesdale Bank.
In the UK, Mackie’s crisps are stocked by all of the major retailers in Scotland and Asda recently launched three varieties of the firm’s crisps in 70 of its stores in England and Northern Ireland. Further afield, the crisps are sold in Australia, Canada and the US.
George Taylor, managing director of Mackie’s at Taypack, said: “Moving to Errol is an enormous step forward for us.
“The spacious new site will not only enable us to double production virtually overnight, but will also provide us with space to upscale further in years to come.”
The factory is being developed at the former site of Errol Brickworks, which closed in 2008 after being in operation for about 150 years.
The 11-acre site also includes two “beehive kilns” which are the only remaining examples of their kind in Scotland.
The business is preserving the kilns as a tribute to the factory’s past.
Within the next two years, the crisp firm plans to open a visitor centre, cafe and shop at the site.
Richard Smith, head of Clydesdale Bank’s business and private banking centre in Dundee, said: “Mackie’s at Taypack is a classic example of a food and drink business that has excelled by offering a high quality product that trades on its Scottish provenance.
“With our support, the company will now be able to target new markets, across the UK and further afield.”
Latest figures from ice cream maker Mackie’s showed a rise in profits in spite of “challenging” trading conditions and poor summer weather.
Turnover dipped to £11.5m from £11.6m in the 12 months to 31 May 2012 but pre-tax profits increased from £299,626 to £360,640.