Minister announces new inward investment project from Japan that will create 100 jobs on Deeside Enterprise Zone

Calbee, Inc. – Japan’s largest manufacturer of savoury snacks is making its first investment in Europe and opening a new facility on Deeside Enterprise Zone with Welsh Government support, creating more than 100 jobs.

The news was announced in Japan today (Friday October 31) by Economy Minister Edwina Hart and Akira Matsumoto, Chairman and CEO of Calbee , following a meeting to finalise the deal. The significant investment, which is backed by business finance from the Welsh Government, is a direct result of the Minister meeting Calbee senior executives last year when she led a trade mission to Japan.

The Minister said: “I am delighted to announce this important new inward investment for Wales. Calbee is the latest in a long line of highly prestigious Japanese companies that have invested in Wales and I welcome their decision to establish their first European plant in Wales.

“It is also the latest international inward investment project for Deeside Enterprise Zone which proved to be the most attractive location as a number of sites in Europe and the UK were under consideration.

“ We have a very successful food manufacturing sector in Wales and this investment will support our strategy to grow and expand the industry, creating more jobs and prosperity and I wish Calbee every success for the future.”

Mr. Akira Matsumoto said: “We are very excited to establish our first European factory in Wales. This is a significant moment in establishing the Calbee brand in the UK and we are making a long term commitment to grow our business from this important base in Deeside. I appreciate both the Welsh Government and everyone’s dedication and support for its successful establishment.”

Calbee (UK) Ltd’s new facility on Deeside Industrial Park will manufacture savoury snacks for the UK and European markets. The UK is Europe’s largest savoury snack market estimated to be worth c£3billion and growing by 5% this year.

The new site will incorporate manufacturing, distribution and some R&D activities with the investment set to create c100 jobs over five years. Production is set to commence in the first half of 2015.

Calbee has announced it aims to achieve annual net sales of around £58m (10b yen) within five years of starting the business.

It will initially produce its popular brand of pea based snacks in a range of flavours – one of their best sellers in the US and Japanese markets. The product is baked as opposed to fried, high in fibre and protein and lower in fat, making it healthier than regular potato crisps.

Calbee (UK) Ltd is a wholly owned subsidiary of Calbee Inc which was founded in 1949 and headquartered in Tokyo. Listed on Tokyo Stock Exchange, Calbee Inc. employs 3,341 people worldwide and has manufacturing facilities in the USA, Thailand, China and Hong Kong, Taiwan, and South Korea.

The news come ahead of the UK Investment Summit Wales 2014 – Embracing technology for competitive advantage – on November 20-21 which is being hosted by Wales. This high profile invitation-only event brings together leaders in the fields of technology and future change to give their unique insights into the fast changing world of digital technology and social media and what it means for their business. Designed to stimulate inward investment and create jobs, growth and wealth, it will highlight Wales as an outstanding investment location and a hub of excellence where cutting edge R&D go hand in hand with innovative technological solutions. The event takes place at The Celtic Manor Resort, Newport, and is supported by the Welsh Government, the Wales Office and UKT&I.