Unilever said it is investing HUF2.2bn (€8m) in its Hungarian ice cream factory in order to build a new updated cold storage space at the facility, plans which were previously postponed by the food giant.
The plant makes three-quarters of all Algida brand ice cream products, according to the Budapest Business Journal (BBJ), with more than 90 per cent of output being exported to Western Europe.
Unilever wants to expand its ice cream capacity from its annual 75m liters to 90m by 2015, reported the BBJ.
A Unilever spokesperson told DairyReporter.com the present capacity of the storage, 1800 palettes, was well behind the requirements, which was why the need for outside storage had emerged.
The new storage consists of four blocks, which make a total capacity of 12000 palettes, they said.
In additional to the storage, other buildings are being modernised at the factory in Veszprém, said the firm.
Additional buildings to be built between 2011 and 2012 include a dispatch office, canteen, warming room, locker room, barrow packer, compressor room, and other storage spaces, said Unilever.
Factory director Laszlo Szatori said the firm was also committed to reducing the plant’s environmental impact, with an aim to minimise the emission of green house gases by reducing the firm’s transportation requirements.
The company hired 100 more staff in 2011, after a 3,500-sqm production expansion in 2010, said the BBJ.
The publication said 65 more people would be hired to work at the new cold storage capacity.
Earlier this year, the firm also announced plans to double production at its Turkish ice cream plant which also manufacturers Unilever’s Algida brand.
According to the firm, Algida Turkey has become the world leader in Algida’s global impulse ice cream category.
Unilever said Algida has already invested a total of €450m into the Turkish ice cream market in the last 20 years.
The firm said investments will also be put towards building a second ice cream plant in Konya, Turkey, with an initial cost of around $100m.