I’ve always been fascinated with the way things work. Possibly one of the many reasons I had planned to join the Royal Logistic Corps after college. Being quite a geek when it comes to discovering programmes like How Does It Work which showcases factories, structures etc. Allowing a glimpse into how they were designed and how they function to provide us with the finished product that we are all too familiar with.
Late last month I was very fortunate to be invited over to the Jakemans factory in Boston, Lincolnshire for a peek behind the scenes. Alongside Sabina from Mummy Matters and Claire from Diary of the Evans Crittens.
Jakemans Factory Tour // From humble beginnings
Established in 1907, Lincolnshire based manufacturing company, Jakemans has been creating delicious menthol confectionery for over 100 years. Jakemans is the second largest menthol confectionery brand* in the UK which is a testament to the success of the business.
Investment in world-class technology to modernise the factory has been critical to growing Jakemans. The company has doubled its employee base since 2010 and now produce 17 tonnes of sweets daily compared to 16 tonnes each week when pressed by hand back in the early 2000’s.
Despite modernising the business, LanesHealth has maintained the family values of the original Jakemans business. Jakemans was acquired by family owned and operated business, LanesHealth, in 2007 and has since received over £5 million investment to keep the operation based in Boston, Lincolnshire. Ongoing investment is driving increased efficiency and output to meet the growing market demand for its well-loved menthol confectionery.
Jakemans Factory Tour // Behind the scenes
Ensuring that we looked the part as well as conforming to all the health and safety regulations we donned hairnets, hi-vis jackets, and overcoats before we were able to enter the factory (plus a thorough hand wash too).
Introduced to Ian who was our guide for the day, he took us through the process of how each and every Jakemans Menthol sweet is made. On our visit, they were making a batch of the traditional Throat & Cough sweets ready to be packaged up into the stick packs (which are currently available in Throat & Cough and Honey & Lemon).
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but in this case, Sabina made a fabulous video of the production process so I thought I’d share it with you…
As the sweets that were being produced were to added to stick packs we were unable to see the wrapping and bagging process in action. Ian did kindly walk us through the process, which looked amazing. From the machines that individually wrap and twist tie the sweets to the hopper boxes which weigh the sweets to the correct weight ready top be dropped into bags before they are sealed and then manually added into boxes ready for distribution.
Jakemans Factory Tour // No such thing as a free lunch
They say that there is no such thing as a free lunch, so to earn our keep during the visit we were able to get hands-on and assist in the packing of the Jakemans stick packs. It took me back to my days of agency cover in various factories during my college summers to earn additional money. Whilst we weren’t as quick as the Jakemans staff I don’t think we did too badly on our first attempt.
To highlight the quality control within the Jakemans factory. Whilst we were observing the stick packing machine which wraps the individual sweets before stacking into the stick wrappers. It ran out of wrappers which meant that any sweets within the machine are discarded. Showcasing that they want to ensure that all packs are delivered to customers with the highest level of quality.
Jakemans Factory Tour // Futureproof
Jakemans are looking toward the future and has recently secured additional land next to the current factory to ensure it has room for expansion. So it’s time to look toward the future to see what is next to come from Jakemans… I’m hoping it will be the delicious Cherry in stick packs!
A big thank you to all of the Jakemans team for making us all feel so welcome – and answering all our questions.
Disclosure: I was invited to the Jakemans Factory to learn more about its history and how it is operated today