Campaign to recognise Wigan on Kraft Heinz products made at town's plant
We are today calling on sector behemoth Kraft Heinz to recognise the borough on its products following the announcement of plans for a massive local cash influx.
The company is planning to invest £140m in its Kitt Green plant, with the production of iconic sauces such as tomato ketchup being brought to the borough as it returns to the UK.
But now we are calling on Kraft Heinz to go one step further and stamp its love of the borough on the bottles of condiments which emerge from the site.
Although it has said this would not be able to happen instantly, the manufacturer of some of Britain’s best-loved brands has certainly not dismissed the idea.
Our call is being supported by local politicians, including Wigan MP Lisa Nandy who raised the matter when she was told about the £140m plan.
She also expressed her delight at the enormous boost for the borough’s economy after more than a year of uncertainty and worry during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Ms Nandy said: “The significant investment at Kitt Green is welcome news for Wigan, creating new jobs and bringing one of the most famous brands in the world - Heinz Tomato Ketchup - back to the UK to be made in Wigan.
“It’s a boost for the town and a sign of confidence in Wigan that Heinz has chosen this moment to invest in us.
“During the pandemic our food production workers have gone the extra mile to keep our country going.
“Our workforce, our location and our access to fresh water are among the many assets Wigan has to offer companies like Heinz.
“After a difficult year, I’m looking forward to seeing the first ‘made in Wigan’ ketchup bottles rolling off the production line.”
The campaign has also received strong backing from Wigan Council leader Coun David Molyneux.
He said: “We are extremely proud that Heinz is investing an additional £140m into Wigan.
“I fully support calls for Wigan to get some recognition on these products so that people in the country and world know that Heinz is a big part of this town’s heritage.”
This is not the first time the town hall chief has tried to persuade the company to go public with its link to the borough.
Coun Molyneux hit the headlines back in 2009 when he asked the firm to put “Made in Wigan, England” on the side of the cans of baked beans produced at the Kitt Green facility.
The move was part of a Buy Local campaign to encourage people to take pride in their roots.
He also told the media at the time that the cans of baked beans said they were made in Hayes in Middlesex, which did not go down well when Wigan also had one of Heinz’s major UK production plans.
The Kitt Green factory opened its doors in 1959. Kraft Heinz is planning a major modernisation with new machinery which will significantly lower the facility’s carbon footprint.
The firm said including the town’s name on its labels is something it might be able to do although it would not happen immediately.
A Kraft Heinz spokesperson said: “Labelling to include ‘Made in Wigan, England’ is something we can look to consider for the future although it is too early for now.”
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