New jobs boost at porridge factory

Prime Minister David Cameron samples some porridge on a visit to the Quaker Oats plant in Cupar.

Prime Minister David Cameron samples some porridge on a visit to the Quaker Oats plant in Cupar.

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CUPAR-based Quaker Oats has announced a £14.4 million investment package and the creation of 30 new jobs.

PepsiCo unveiled its latest expansion plans to coincide with a visit to the plant by Prime Minister David Cameron.

The investment builds on the £8.5 million spent on the site last year and brings the total spent by parent company Pepsico in the last decade to £51 million.

The company — which produces both Quaker Oats and Scott’s Porage Oats — said the UK porridge market is now worth £157 million, with demand for hot cereal rising by 30 per cent in the last 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 by 44 per cent over the last two years.

In addition to growth in the UK, PepsiCo has also seen its oats exports rise by 18 per cent over the past five years as demand for Quaker Oats increases in the Middle East.

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.

DEMAND

“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.”

Following a tour of the site, Mr Cameron said: “Quaker and Scott’s Porage Oats have a long heritage here in the UK and PepsiCo’s further investment of £14.4 million is a welcome example of its 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.

“I’m delighted to see the business going from strength to strength, expanding the site, creating jobs, and increasing their exports abroad.”

SIGNIFICANT

North East Fife MP Sir Menzies Campbell, who was also invited to hear the announcement, said: “Further significant investment in the mill and the creation of new jobs is good news for Cupar and Fife.

“Quaker is one of our success stories, but its influence extends far beyond Cupar because of the remarkable contribution it makes to UK exports.

“Its products are sold throughout the world, with a particular emphasis in expanding markets like the Middle East.”

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.