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With the latest craze for health food, Universal Flexible Packaging is set to bring good news for job aspirants.

Thanks to its rapid growth, this popcorn manufacturer expects to create over 50 jobs in 2018. Of these, 10 to 15 jobs are likely to be administrative in nature while the rest 40 are predicted to be on the factory floor. The business’s packaging and contract packing side alone is expected to bring in more than £25 million this year.

Building on its reputation for creating quality food packaging and contract packing, the company branched out in 2010 into popcorn. At present, it packages for several supermarkets, retail brand leaders and multinationals, as well as sweet and snack manufacturers in Derbyshire and Leicester.

Its client list also includes snacks and food packaging for almost all leading British coffee shop chains.

How Universal Flexible Packaging’s Popcorn Business Expanded

John Harrison – the company’s Commercial Mortgages Director, said that Universal Flexible Packaging bought its first machine five years ago. Since then, the popcorn business has experienced a rapid growth.

He said that the company’s research predicted impressive growth for the popcorn industry as popcorn is considered to be a healthy alternative to crisps. The company initially planned to expand both into the snack and popcorn business, but never foresaw how the latter would grow exponentially.

The company now supplies the Lord Poppington brand to all key manufacturers and supermarkets.

At present, it manufactures singles, sharing bags and vending sizes. In July, it plans to start making multi-packs at its Lewisher Road plant.

Last year, Universal Flexible Packaging invested £10 million in its business. This included £7.5 million for its Lewisher Road plant, where it now has four popcorn production lines and 100 staff.

In 2016, the popcorn market experienced the biggest growth sub-sector in snack brands. It grew at a whopping 38% and is worth more than £100 million now. Compared to a few thousand bags manufactured a few years ago, Universal Flexible Packaging now makes more than 50 millions of these.

As a result of this remarkable growth, the company is now among one of the four major players in the market.

With the popcorn market sector set to treble in size over the next 18 months to two years, it is eyeing a steady growth and creation of more jobs.
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