The formal opening was conducted by the Lord Lieutenant of Shropshire, Sir Algernon Heber-Percy.
Jon West, commercial director, said i2r, one of the largest aluminium convenience food packaging firms by tonnage, has invested around £1.5m in 2016 – around £750,000 for the building extension, and around the same amount on press capacity and tooling.
The investment is set to continue, according to West, with a forecast of £2m in 2017.
The company currently has 13 aluminium lines which will increase to 15 by summer, and five paper lines that will almost double to nine this year. Staff levels are expected to rise from 85 to 100 this year.
i2r grew by 16% last year, and is forecasting 17% growth this year, and is epxcting to sell 150m tulip wraps for muffins this year – up from 30m last year.
With only one other British company manufacturing the tulip wraps, West said he was confident of a five-fold increase this year.
West said: “We will be the second manufacturer, and are confident of taking market share. We have secured significant contracts for tulip wraps – in the UK and overseas. We are the only UK manufacturer of paper and foil packs in this field.”
He added that growth in the convenience food packaging sector was being driven by desire for higher quality food in a convenience format.
“I think that is the single driver for growth. All the retailers have been driving the quality up and aluminium has been a great vehicle. The material is very good and lends itself well to what the retailers want and consumers want to buy.
“With paper, there is an enormous growth and rise in café culture – 16m cakes are consumed daily.”
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