The Real Petfood Company

Case study

The Real Petfood Company

The Real Petfood Company has chosen Denbighshire for a £6 million investment.

The business, which specialises in manufacturing premium pet food snacks and treats under the Wagg and Harringtons brands, has relocated to the county.

Parent company, Inspired Pet Nutrition Ltd, which is headquartered in North Yorkshire, is the UK’s largest independent producer of dry pet food.

The firm is investing £6 million in acquiring, re-furbishing and re-equipping the 8-acre 130,000 sq ft former Hotpoint site in Bodelwyddan.

The move is expected to create 20 jobs within two years and envisages the workforce growing to 100 employees after 5 years.

Graham Wheeler, managing director of the Real Petfood Company, said: “The Real Petfood Company was established in North Wales 17 years ago and I am really pleased that we are able to continue growing and evolving in the same area.”

Denbighshire County Council played a prominent role in the proceedings, advising on technical issues and co-ordinating communication between interested stakeholders early on in the deliberations.

The Council will continue to work closely with the company to assist the company with its new operations.

The Real Petfood Company’s pet food bakery was established in Flint in 1999 and supplies a European wide base selling under the Wagg and Harringtons brands as well as co-manufacturing a range of pet food snacks and treats for private label customers.

It distributes its products through supermarkets and independent retailers in the UK and exports to 16 countries.

A family-owned business, Inspired Pet Nutrition (formerly Wagg Foods) started producing pet food at Dalton Airfield in the 1980s.

In 2002 it opened a dog food production facility capable of producing more than 40,000 tonnes of extruded product per year.

Two more extruders have since been added to further boost production.

The business manufactures a broad range of pet food and treats for puppies, dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs and hamsters.

In addition to the UK, the firm’s products can also be found in 16 countries around the world and particularly France, Germany and Spain.

Turnover is now some £70 million per anum and the Dalton site has more than 130 employees with a further 30 employed at the facility in Flint.

The firm has recently invested some £7 million in building and fitting out a fully automated, 100,000 sq ft distribution centre.

The investment is in addition to the £20million the business has spent over the past five years on automating production in its existing two mills which are also on Dalton Airfield.

A further £3 million is scheduled to be spent on the mills in the next two years.

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