Seven new soft drink production lines have been installed, in addition to the upgrade and refurbishment of two existing lines. The project has also further strengthened the site’s warehousing and logistical capabilities, and a brand-new Ingredient Processing Centre has been built and commissioned.
Princes’ Cardiff site is the company’s center of excellence for fruit juice, producing Princes, Jucee and customer own label products. Historically, it has produced one-liter, ambient juices, multipacks and ready to merchandise display units. The project, however – the group’s largest ever capital investment into soft drinks – has enabled the production of ambient, mini and chilled drinks, doubling overall production capacity and creating 130 new jobs.
The investment will also boost Princes’ entry into the low and no alcohol category: with the company launching its Skinny Mixers range earlier this year (the trio of blended juice drinks are made from juice concentrates and fruit purees to meet demand for alcohol alternatives).
Princes Cardiff Head of Operations Ian Davies said: “The investment has significantly boosted our production capabilities and capacity, enabling entry into new categories as part of our ongoing innovation strategy.
“We have also introduced new pack sizes and formats to meet customer demand, and reduced Princes’ carbon footprint through increased efficiencies and the use of more environmentally-friendly carton materials.
“These changes have meant we are on track to significantly reduce waste juice at the site by over 2,000 tonnes and with food waste being a major contributor to climate change, this is an important part of our overall environmental progress.”
Princes Cardiff is one of the largest employers in the area with over 260 colleagues, and its supply chain supports hundreds of both local and regional jobs.
The site is also part of a recently announced feasibility study to produce green hydrogen from biogas generated at a nearby waste-water treatment center. The energy is being used by Princes to fuel boilers that generate heat for fruit juice pasteurization.
The Welsh government wants to see food and drink manufacturing sector turnover to grow to at least £8.5bn ($10.4bn) by 2025, and contributed £3m in government support to the Prices site.