The canning line began packaging 440ml cans of Stowford Press earlier this month, processing 12,500 items an hour.
Westons Cider also operates on-site packaging facilities for its bottled, bag-in-box and draught ciders lines.
“Over the past year it’s become clear just how important it is for us to control our own destiny, particularly when it comes to getting our world-renowned ciders from our mill into people’s hands,” said Helen Thomas, managing director at Westons Cider.
“Bringing all of our canning requirements in house means we’ll control our supply chain end-to-end and will no longer be reliant on third parties.
According to Thomas, the investment in Westons’ packaging operations would help the company ‘gear up for a big summer of cider sales’ and leave it better equipped to handle volatility in the market.
“Last year, as shoppers’ habits changed due to the impact of COVID-19, many of us switched to less frequent, higher spend shopping trips,” she said.
“This means multipacks, particularly those in canned formats, now command even more attention in-store. We can provide a better service to our customers by responding even more quickly to future upticks in shopper demand.”
The announcement of the new canning line coincides with the introduction of redesigned packaging for Westons Cider’s Stowford Press four-pack.
The new multipack format, which will go on sale from June, incorporates a lighter cardboard structure. According to Westons, this redesign will result in the removal of 29 tonnes of cardboard across the brand every year.
Westons Cider, established in 1880, currently employs 230 people and has a turnover of £65m. Run by the fourth generation of the Weston family, the company produces Henry Westons Vintage, Old Rosie, Mortimer’s Orchard and Rosie’s Pig ciders as well as Stowford Press.