- Sector: Manufacturing
- Region: North West England
On a plate
From its base in St Helens, Poppies Europe has become one of the largest independent napkin manufacturers in the UK, producing more than 60 million napkins a week. In addition, it supplies other disposable paper products, such as table covers and plates to the catering and hospitality industry.
Over the past five years, the company has tripled its net assets. That expansion has, in part, been a result of the company’s acquisition strategy, with deals in 2012 and 2015, which have allowed the business to accelerate its market penetration and expand its products.
In this industry, pricing is a key issue but quality and service are also important. "We continue to work closely in partnership with our customers to ensure they have the highest level of service so that they can meet their needs in a competitive marketplace," says Masoud Khadem, CEO. "Price is a prominent factor in our industry, although, with challenging trading conditions and the increasing cost of raw materials, we are seeing a shift whereby service, quality and innovation are paramount."
As in any sector, innovation is a fundamental part of a successful growth strategy, and Poppies Europe continues to look for ways to improve its offering. "We see digital innovation as being key in our personalised printed napkin division," says Masoud. "Digital-photo-quality images printed on a napkin will open new markets."
To make the most of such opportunities, investment is needed and Poppies Europe has an expenditure programme to develop high-speed production lines and enhance its operations. It has also devoted a lot of time to training and supporting its staff.
"Efficient machinery and lean processes with a happy workforce have been central to our success. Never forget your staff. A company is only as good as the people running it."