Sprouted seeds supplier Good4U will open a new 60,000 sq ft plant in 2014 as it puts last year’s industry-wide E.coli crisis behind it.
Currently, Good4U - which is headquartered in the Republic of Ireland - operates out of three units in Cookstown, Northern Ireland, totalling around 8,000 sq ft.
Its branded sprouted seeds have been in Sainsbury’s since 2009 and went into Tesco UK earlier this year when it also launched value-added roasted seeds into Sainsbury’s and M&S.
The company is now planning to build a new, bigger factory to increase production of its existing range and provide room for expansion into new product areas. “Within 18 months we’ll be in a new facility because while we have capacity, if we continue at the rate we’re growing, we’ll have issues,” said MD Bernie Butler.
Good4U had not yet made a decision over where the new site would be located, Butler added.
Good4U’s sales were just £600,000 in 2011 - hit by consumer and buyer concerns over the safety of sprouted seeds following the E.coli crisis in Germany and France - but was on track to increase it to £1.5m this calendar year, according to Butler.
She would not be drawn on Good4U’s future total sales aspirations, but said the company was targeting £6.5m turnover on sprouted seeds alone by November 2015 - equating to a more than fourfold increase on the current £1.5m. “We’re ready for the big step,” she added.
In addition to sprouted and toasted seeds, Good4U also wants to launch wheatgrass-based functional drinks and products.
Last week, new EU rules were adopted to increase the sprouted seeds industry’s traceability following last year’s E.coli outbreaks. The legislation was “a huge step forward” added Butler.