Bensons to reopen factory after own-label crisps boost

Bensons Crisps is to reopen its Newport factory just one year after closing it down at a cost of 2m. This follows increased demand for its supermarket own-label multipack crisps.

The South Wales factory was shut down with the loss of 200 jobs in February 1995, following the opening of a new 10.5m site in Kirk-ham, Lancashire.

Bensons’ marketing director John Mudd will not estimate how much it cost to reopen the factory, but admits the venture has been “very expensive”. He says the decision is due to an unexpected surge in demand for own-label multipack crisps.

It is believed both Asda and Iceland have increased orders for own-label crisps from Bensons. Multi- packs accounted for 64 per cent of Bensons sales in 1996, compared with 51 per cent in 1995.

When the Newport factory reopens in April, it will manufacture standard-sized packet crisps. However, the Kirkham plant will concentrate on multipack crisps and snacks.

One broker says: “Bensons is enjoying strong trading at the moment and is expected to post profits of about 2m next month.

It is a refreshing change from the problems which dogged the company almost constantly in the early Nineties.”

Bensons is currently number four in the crisps market, behind Walkers, KP and Golden Wonder.

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