A £300,000 investment in new equipment has put a Welsh organic health food company on the road to expansion.
Kealth Foods has invested in the state-of-the-art Horizontal Form Fill Seal pouch machine to improve production and cut costs at the Hirwaun factory, where 50 people are employed. A further 25 jobs are planned to be created in the next three years.
Kealth supplies ambient baby foods to Asda, Boots, Aldi, Lidl and other third party brands. Sales to all customers are growing, with increased rate of store distribution, which was the motivation for the investment.
The NHS is another important customer. Kealth produces easily digestible foods for people suffering with Dysphagia, as well as meals with low levels of salt and potassium, and vegan and ‘allergy aware’ dishes.
Former Army Captain Gary Bulmer is one of the Directors. “Kealth Foods is gaining a growing reputation and we are aiming to expand in the next three years. This investment package of £300,000 has enabled us to increase efficiency and cut overheads, and we are planning to add a second shift to our operations.”
The business plan, says Mr Bulmer, predicts that turnover will increase from the present £4.5 million to £7 million in three years. In that time, the aim is to increase the workforce from 50 to 75.
“We are planning further investment in years to come to build on the success we have achieved,” he added.
All baby food is totally organic and Kealth offers full traceability of ingredients to farms in the UK.
The investment package has been supported by Tata subsidiary UK Steel Enterprise, who have provided a £50,000 loan. The package also comprises a grant from the Welsh Government, and assistance from other sources.
Glyn Thomas of UK Steel Enterprise said: “Kealth Foods is an ambitious company with positive growth plans going forward. It is steadily increasing its product range and finding new markets. As well as this, it provides badly needed jobs in this part of Wales and we are delighted to be offering support.”