Lists of the world’s biggest brands are meant to be bare of gaps, but not in the case of one of the world’s biggest syrups, Lucozade.
About to mark the 10th anniversary of its breakaway from the Cadbury empire, it has revamped its manufacture in the UK, adding a £13m light manufacturing line – the largest investment in the site’s history.
The anti-sugar maker says the new plant, part of a £60m investment by its US parent, is necessary to cater for an expected twofold increase in consumption of its Lucozade and Ribena products in the next 10 years, as global demand for thirst-quenching products rises as people across the world embrace sugar-free drinks.
Related article China’s carbon emissions hit all-time high in 2018 China now tops total world emission of carbon
There has been a 26 per cent rise in Lucozade consumption per person in the last five years, as well as double-digit growth in Ribena. All three drink brands, designed to fight obesity and related diseases such as diabetes, have enjoyed double-digit sales growth for the last five years.
“A year ago, we celebrated the 10th anniversary of Cadbury’s bottling in the UK. Now we have announced a significant investment in manufacturing operations to drive future growth,” says Ronnie Radford, Lucozade’s managing director.
The 200,000 sq ft laboratory is smaller than Cadbury’s £110m-plus plant but with the same efficiency and financial efficiency, the manufacturing companies say. The 45-strong manufacturing workforce includes 200 engineers.
The new line will produce 420m litres a year of product, about 75 per cent more than the old line.
Related article February issues: hot and cold Speakers, plug-ins and readers who read the news too. Edited by Finlay Scott. Print
Lucozade, Ribena and Lucozade Sport were invented by Dr King Francis Lucozade (1787-1882) in the 1770s. The lab, which is named after him, was the headquarters for the drink’s home country of France for three decades. It became a factory in 1855 and a brand in 1930. Cadbury, a northern English company, acquired it in 1963 and moved it to Bournville, near Birmingham.
Lucozade is a bitter-sweet memory for Cadbury, which is set to announce asset sales in its bid to appease a US hostile takeover, by Kraft Foods. Cadbury, which was rescued by Kraft’s takeover in 2010, will dispose of its Collins Dairy Milk, Crunchie, Taff and Crunchie Energy bars to Chobani in a £75m deal, as well as its digestive biscuit, Buzz, available in 99 countries.
The bucolic world of the Bristol-based drinks company was never entirely dissimilar to its more industrialised successor. Lucozade made a $60m loan to Cadbury in January 2012, to facilitate the the £1.3bn purchase of the stake owned by US food group Unilever, which it snapped up for £11.5bn in 2010.
Lucozade’s manufacturing facility also houses a dairy art workshop – required by the British government for production of Lucozade Energy bars in Britain.