Kerrygold has set its sights on becoming the UK's top cheese supplier through a £30m factory investment.

The Irish-owned butter and cheese manufacturer cuts and packs block Cheddar in Leek, Staffordshire for the multiples. MD Carl Ravenhall claims the business already controls 30% of the retailers' own-label cheese supply after years of strong growth.

"Demand for Cheddar is flat at less than 1% per year, so it's hard to grow on the back of the market. We want to become the industry leader in NPD and packaging."

The new plant will allow Kerrygold to produce and pack new lines of healthy and functional cheese products, which it is pitching to retailers. The company aims to develop new easy-open and recloseable packaging.

Ravenhall said it had been a choice between winding the business down or investing in capacity and updating the plant.

When the works are completed in 2009, Kerrygold will have 20% more capacity for cutting and packing.

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