Aston Manor Cider has unveiled their latest multi-million pound investment – a move that has increased employment and extended the capacity and capability of the business. The Birmingham-based drinks producer has spent a further £6m in recent months to reconfigure their Aston production site and add a state-of-the-art new packaging line.
This follows investment in excess of £30m in the last five years and a further commitment that is likely to exceed £50m over the term of the long-term contracts agreed with farmers to supply apples from new orchards planted in Herefordshire.
Part of the most recent investment has been to develop the research and development capability to create new products. In order to bring these and other drinks to market meant millions to install a whole new packaging line that has enabled new formats to be produced.
Now commissioned, this and previous investment means Aston Manor’s portfolio of ciders can be packaged in bag-in-box formats, in mini-kegs, and in different sizes and shapes of cans.
Having the ability to expand the availability of cans directly responds to changing consumer preferences as three-quarters of growth in cider sales in the take home sector is from that format.
Gordon Johncox, chief executive at Aston Manor said: “We have a track record of being responsive to consumer trends and having the flexibility and agility to deliver great products in different styles and formats.
“It is for this reason we are recognised as having a broad portfolio to delight every consumer and on every occasion – from value and mainstream to the most premium.
“This is by design. We consistently invest significant sums and support our people to build our capacity and capability. It is vital to our approach and our ambition to offer new products and develop new markets.”
This work has also supported the growing demand from major drinks businesses and brand owners to work with Aston Manor as a specialist contract packer. Increased demand from growing sales has meant in the first seven months of this year nearly 127 million products have been made across production sites in Birmingham and Tiverton in Devon – over 8 million more than in the same period last year.
Johncox added: “I pay testament to the great work being done by our people – during a period of exceptional disruption they are delivering products of quality that people are enjoying as evidenced by award success, assurance from independent audits and customer care levels that exceed industry standards.”
In the latest international cider competitions, Aston Manor’s ‘Malvern Gold’ brand scooped the prize as the World’s Best (still) Cider for the second year running – after claiming top spot in the year this stunning cider was launched.