The Arnott’s Group has announced it will be manufacturing an extra 16.5 million kilograms of Campbell’s soup and stocks at its Shepparton plant in Victoria each year, due to a $8 million upgrade of the site.
The Arnott’s Group owns the licencing rights to produce Campbell’s soup products in Asia Pacific as part of its portfolio of consumer food brands, which includes Arnott’s Biscuits.
While domestic demand for canned soup products has been largely flat (and declining for some categories) in Australia, the Shepparton plant has been under-utilised. But demand from Asian countries is strong and The Arnott’s Group will make the most of export opportunities in key markets.
The announced upgrade will uplift production at the Shepparton plant by 30 per cent and exports by 400 per cent. The local team will take over preparation of Campbell’s soups and stocks for export to new markets including Singapore, Philippines, Thailand, Korea, Taiwan, as well increase exports to existing markets in Hong Kong and Japan over the next 12 months. These products are currently manufactured overseas within The Arnott’s Group’s global sourcing network.
The three-phased project will help secure the financial future of the Shepparton plant and is expected to deliver up to 12 new full-time jobs as part of planned increase in production.
The upgrade will also have flow-on benefits to Australian suppliers and partners. The Shepparton plant has more than 100 Victorian-based suppliers, many based in the Goulburn Valley. Local suppliers provide not only the fresh produce that goes into our soups, but also the cans that deliver it to homes, and services required to keep the plant operating safely.
“We have a rich history in Australian food-making, and this upgrade at Shepparton shows our commitment to making more delicious food right here,” The Arnott’s Group CEO, George Zoghbi said. “For 60 years, we’ve been making soup here in Shepparton for Australian families.
“We are proud that this iconic plant in regional Victoria will drive more Australian exports to Asia. We plan to be a regional powerhouse of food brands based in Australia, and today, Shepparton brings us closer to that goal. Declining domestic demand for soup products had meant our Shepparton plant was underutilised. This upgrade also secures the plant’s medium-term future.”