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08 June 2017

Ambrosia… Investing to meet growing demand

Our delicious Ambrosia custard and creamed rice is bought by more than 13 million people in the UK each year, equating to almost 50% of households. Famous for its creamy texture and high quality ingredients, it’s no surprise that the Great British public can’t get enough of it!
 

To keep up with growing demand, our 300+ colleagues at our Ambrosia Creamery in Devon produce more than 250 million units of product per year. And over the years we’ve continued to invest in state of the art production at the Creamery to increase capacity and innovate the Ambrosia brand with the introduction of new products and pack formats. In fact, since Premier Foods took over the creamery in 2003, we’ve invested more than £50m in the site. Here’s some of the investments we’ve made...

Enhancing our canning operation

ambrosiafactory7.jpgIn 2013 we upgraded our canning operation and introduced a brand new high speed milk filler, new can seamer and a high spec weigher. The result… not only were we able to increase our production rates but we were also able to improve our operational efficiency and reduce waste from overfills and leaks!

Ambrosia in Pots

Ambrosia-pots.jpgRecognising the increasing popularity of pots in the market, in the same year, we extended our Ambrosia Creamery with a 625 sqm building and state-of-the-art equipment that gave us the capability to produce more delicious Ambrosia Custard and Creamed Rice desserts in pots for the first time.

ambrosiafactory29-(1).jpg

The first products off the line were our Ambrosia Custard twin-pots combining creamy Devon Custard with delicious Fruit Compote, followed by Mini Pots for younger children and Rice Pots in a range of new modern flavours.

Then in 2015 we extended the capability of the new line to produce Cadbury Dessert pots in single and twin pots on site for the first time. 
 

Driving efficiency

We’ve been working across the site to drive extensive savings, improvements and efficiency through machine output and effective waste management. We’re proud to now send zero waste to landfill, and between 2009 - 2011 we completed an extensive upgrade in water treatment to improve our energy efficiency. 

 

Premiumising the brand

Ambrosia-Deluxe_ClottedCreamCustard-POT-(2).jpgAmbrosia-Deluxe_ToffeeCustard_500g_A-BOX.jpgIn 2016 we tapped into the growing consumer trend for indulgent products with the launch of our Ambrosia Deluxe Custard range. Available in three mouth watering flavours -vanilla and clotted cream, salted caramel and creamy toffee - the range was launched in can, pot and combi formats.

To support the  Ambrosia deluxe range, we invested £3.2m in a ‘Taste of Happy’ campaign which saw our Ambrosia brand back on TV in a 30 second advert and supported by in store activation including product sampling, 6 sheet displays in customer stores and printed adverts in customer magazines.
 
Also in 2016, as a result of even greater investment in our pot line, we added the capability to produce the deluxe range with the addition of new ingredients, for example: clotted cream, white chocolate and coconut powder.
 

The future is aeration

I96138144_T1-(2).jpgn the same year, we also installed cutting-edge aseptic aeration technology at our Ambrosia Creamery, giving us the capability to produce ambient aerated desserts for the first time.
We’ve used it first to innovate our Angel Delight brand with the launch of our unique Angel Delight Ready to Eat pot desserts earlier this year!

Looking ahead to the next century 

Next year, we’ll be investing in upgrading our Canning Retort lines which are more than 60 years old and have been the backbone of the Ambrosia business for many years. These will be replaced with the latest in rotary retort technology offering efficiency improvements and greater flexibility for recipe development and additional can sizes.



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