Burton’s Biscuits has announced a £5m investment in its ‘Cookie Centre of Excellence’ production site in Blackpool, providing the equipment needed for the manufacture of Maryland Soft Baked cookies, which were launched this month as the UK’s first mass-produced soft cookies.

The spend has covered a state of the art production line, involving new dough line feed systems and wire cutting and control systems.

“Through continued investment in our processes and supply chain operations, we are now able to bring products like Maryland Soft Baked to market faster,” said Simon Bourne, director of operations at Burton’s Biscuit Company.

“Introducing new, innovative products like Maryland Soft Baked, ensures that our Power Brands remain consumer favourites and that we’re continuing to transform the UK biscuit aisle,” said Toby Baker, director of sweet at Burton’s Biscuit Company. “Supported by over £3 million of consumer investment into the Maryland brand in 2015, we’re confident consumers and retailers alike will love this new cookie, making every day more of a treat.”

The whole Maryland range saw sales drop 6.9% last year to £48.0m [Nielsen 52 w/e 11 October 2014] – twice the category decline of 3.5%.