This week, our #madeinsandwell Monday celebrates four decades of KTC Edibles, a family business that has grown from one small grocery store to become a global supplier with revenue of £290m.
The KTC story started in Friar Park, Wednesbury, in 1979 with a small business packing speciality oils. This soon expanded into edible oils, which is when things really took off as demand grew. Within twenty years the company moved to a purpose-built site on Moorcroft Drive in Tipton, which continues to be the company’s headquarters, overseeing additional premises in Darlaston and Bootle, Liverpool.
In addition to its extensive range of edible and non-edible oils and fats, KTC also supply a wide variety of canned foods, dried pulses and lentils, spices and seasoning, rice and pasta, chutneys, sauces, drinks and even non-food items such as kitchen foil, cutlery and food packaging.
Managing director Paresh Mehta believes the company’s success is largely down to the dedication of the staff and the sense of family within the workforce. KTC now employs 325 people across its three sites, some of whom have been with the company for over 30 years. He also says that being based in Sandwell, with such good access routes to all parts of the UK and beyond, has been very beneficial to the business.
“There’s a very supportive environment here,” says Paresh. “We’ve had extremely good support from not only the council, but also trading standards and environmental health. Our incredible journey from such humble beginnings to where we are now would not have been possible without that. It still amazes me that our local brand is now available in 68 countries and is so well-known across so many different parts of the food industry in the UK.”
KTC’s brand, particularly its iconic cream and red drums of cooking oil, has featured on cookery programmes and soap operas. Artists have requested its distinctive packaging to create sculptures while singer and TV presenter Alesha Dixon has said she uses KTC’s coconut oil. The company also made it onto this year’s list of the top 50 fastest growing companies in Sandwell.
Looking to the future, KTC is focused on growing its export business, expanding to new markets and looking for new opportunities to bring its proudly British brand to the rest of the world.
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