The Arnott’s Group will be manufacturing an extra 16.5 million kilograms of Campbell’s soups and stocks at its Shepparton plant in Victoria each year, thanks to a nearly $8 million upgrade of the site.

The Arnott’s Group owns the licencing rights to produce Campbell’s 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 – or even declining in some categories – in Australia, demand from Asian countries is strong and The Arnott’s Group will make the most of export opportunities in key markets.

The site upgrade will uplift production at the Shepparton plant by 30% and exports by 400%. 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 first phase, which commenced on 1 December 2020, will distribute soup made in Shepparton into Asian markets which was previously sourced out of Campbell’s US network and in Malaysia.

The Arnott’s Group CEO, George Zoghbi (pictured) said, “For 60 years, we’ve been making soup here in Shepparton for Australian families. We have a rich history in Australian food-making, and this upgrade at Shepparton shows our commitment to making more delicious food right here.

“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 Shepparton brings us closer to that goal.”

By June 2021, a $3.9 million investment in new plant and machinery will enable Shepparton to produce larger soup can sizes in demand in a range of Asian markets, including a 1.4-kilogram can. The project involves converting and relocating an existing production line to fill, close and pack cans, and the purchase and installation of new machinery. A further $3.9 million is planned for the next financial year to upgrade plant infrastructure and equipment used to make non-canned products.