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About Knighton Foods

Find out more about Knighton Foods
An impressive heritage and history

An impressive heritage and history

Knighton Foods was formed in June 2014, and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Premier Foods plc.

Our manufacturing site at Adbaston in Staffordshire has a long history of food production, dating back as far as 1911, when the chocolate company, Cadbury, developed a milk collection facility here to transport milk by canal from surrounding Staffordshire farms to Bourneville in the West Midlands.

Manufacture of chocolate crumb on the Adbaston site followed some time later.

The factory in the fields

The factory in the fields

The January 1951 issue of the Bournville Works magazine featured an aerial photograph of the Knighton factory on its front cover. Describing the photo inside, the editor writes, “…this photograph shows that, if Bournville is ‘The Factory in a Garden’ then Knighton is ‘The Factory in the Fields.’”

The Knighton factory owes its existence to the huge popularity of Cadbury’s Dairy Milk chocolate in the twentieth century. The factory was established by Cadbury’s in 1911 to make chocolate crumb for the Bournville factory. The attraction of the rural – and at the time remote – location was a ready supply of milk and good links to Bournville via the Shropshire Union canal.

The second phase of the factory’s success is based on spray drying. This process first came to Knighton with the introduction of Marvel Instant Skimmed milk powder in 1963. The spray drying and associated processes opened up all sorts of possibilities for making powdered goods which we continue to manufacture and develop to this day.

Historical timeline

1911
1911

1911

The factory was established by Cadbury’s in 1911 to make chocolate crumb for the Bournville factory

1961
1961

1961

The last narrow boat left Knighton wharf with a cargo of chocolate crumb bound for Bournville

1962
1962

1962

Cadbury’s Marvel is launched

1963
1963

1963

Spray drying plant built. Instantising plant and Evaporators were also installed

1985
1985

1985

Chocolate Break was launched, a step change in the market from drinks where you had to add milk to instants that now just needed water

1990
1990

1990

The production of Typhoo QT, an instant tea

1992
1992

1992

£2 Million investment in Agglomeration and the launch of Cadbury Highlights

1994
1994

1994

£1 Million upgrade of the processing area including a new spray drier preparation area

1997
1997

1997

£1 Million investment in Pillow Packs and Cartons

1998
1998

1998

An air conditioned Jar Filling Line was installed to handle Coffee production

2000
2000

2000

The production of Hartley’s Jelly sachets starts at Knighton Factory

2002
2002

2002

Lift Lemon Tea purchased from Northern Foods and introduced to the Knighton site

2005
2005

2005

The production of Angel Delight starts at Knighton factory

2005
2005

2005

£8 Million investment to produce Birds Dessert Range

2013
2013

2013

Installation of the new line for Smash potato

2014
2014

2014

Investment acquisition of Agglomeration Technology

2017
2017

2017

Agglomeration Technology rebranded as Knighton Ingredients