Kerry's ongoing global growth

Tralee-based international food and ingredients giant Kerry Group has unveiled plans for a "significant" investment in its Wittstock breadcrumb manufacturing site in Germany.

The planned expansion includes the addition of a new crumb baking line and a warehouse extension, which will double the output volume at the factory to 48,000 tonnes per year.

Kerry Group said the funding will enable a faster and more efficient replenishment lead time for its customers.

The number of staff at the German operation will increase dramatically, with an increase of around 13 per cent in the workforce expected.

"Kerry's investment in this key manufacturing site demonstrates our commitment to service customers with growing coatings needs," said meat business president at Kerry Taste & Nutrition Philip O'Connor.

"With our continuing efforts to expand our capabilities, combined with our 40-plus years of taste expertise, we are confident in our ability to meet the increasing demand for innovative coating solutions in the region," said Mr O'Connor.

The Wittstock site will allow Kerry to simultaneously deliver product innovation and enable high-quality production at scale for its customers to suit their respective markets, a statement from the group said.

News of Kerry Group's latest expansion plans come just two months after the Group acquired Spanish food firm Hasenosa.

Hasenosa, which is based in Galicia is one of the world's leading producers of coatings and the company - which has customers in 20 countries - specialises in gluten free breadcrumb products.

The German expansion plan and the purchase of Hasenosa continues a period of significant investments for Kerry Group across the Globe.

In 2017 Kerry Group made eight acquisitions at a cost of close to €400 million. So far this year Kerry Group - which said in February that acquisitions will drive its strategy for the next five years - have acquired three more.