IPS (Integrated Packing Services Ltd) leads the market in specialist contract packing with 25 years of experience serving the food industry. As part of Culina Group, the UK’s leading Food & Drink logistics business, IPS is certainly going from strength to strength and now operates from 19 sites across the UK.

Since becoming part of Culina Group in 2014, IPS has certainly seen the benefits of being part of a larger network and the business continues to forge ahead. Currently IPS is experiencing a period of unprecedented growth.
Managing Director Andrew Dawson says, “Over the past five years our business has grown from strength to strength. Not only have we retained all of our clients but, our growth over recent times has been remarkable. We have added numerous new clients and we now operate 19 locations across the UK. We already know where and when we will be opening our 20th site which will be a fantastic achievement over such a short time frame.”

As part of their growth and expansion plans, IPS acquired FoodPack Ltd, based in St Helens towards the end of 2018. FoodPack are a successful business which manufactures granola and dry mix products direct to retailers, as well as co-manufacturing products on behalf of brand owners.
“This is a fantastic addition to our service offering,” says Andrew. “We are working with some of the largest brands from concept to final packaged product and our NPD team and kitchens are providing a real point of difference. The FoodPack team are great to work with and we are already investing heavily. We will double the size of this business over the next three years.”

How has IPS managed to experience such success? “We take pride in remembering where it all started, making sure we keep feet on the ground and ensuring we don’t lose our entrepreneurial spirit,” says Andrew. “That, and maintaining and prioritising a keen focus on health and safety, quality and performance.”
He adds, “Being part of Culina Group provides IPS with a solid foundation, positive momentum and a commitment to investment. This is our real point of difference and has set us apart from our competitors. Applying our co-pack know-how and spirit, coupled with such a progressive company in Culina Group, this remains our recipe for success.”
“IPS complements and helps underpin other businesses within the wider Group and we are proud of the co-pack facilities we operate across the Great Bear and Culina Logistics chilled network.”

Packing for some of the world’s largest food companies carries responsibility, as they are entrusting their brands to the care of the IPS business. Andrew says, ““It’s about investment in capacity and innovation to provide the best possible solution for our customers, as well as having the right people with the right knowledge in the right place to ensure compliance whilst protecting our customers’ brands.”

“IPS is a very people-orientated business. The company wants to build partnerships with the companies it works with” says Andrew, “to build these partnerships everybody at IPS has to be on board with the Company’s ethos, and staff have to be fully engaged across all levels of the business.”
While being part of Culina Group has its obvious advantages, IPS had already clocked up 20 years growing its business before becoming part of the wider organisation. Up until 2010, the company operated two sites based in Yorkshire, co-packing confectionery, biscuits, snacks and cereals – today facilities are nationwide, with a much broader portfolio of products, equipment and customers within temperature controlled environments.
The recently expanded co-packing headquarters is based at Featherstone in West Yorkshire, their first site more than 20 years ago. This is a shared user facility with 35 lines packing the most technically demanding of products within a variety of product sectors. Its York facility is a dedicated operation providing 20+ co-packing lines delivering the complete and bespoke packaging needs of a world leading food business.

The Rotherham site completes the Yorkshire-based sites packing personal care products. IPS has a strong presence in the Midlands with the business providing the full range of primary and secondary co-pack solutions in Lutterworth and Wolverhampton.
In April 2015 the business expanded, opening a new facility in Dudley further complementing the already very successful network of services. In Haverhill, Suffolk, Milton Keynes and Bristol the focus is on co-packing services across their chilled network.

IPS has also opened a new operation based at fellow Culina Group business Great Bear, based at Markham Vale, close to the M1. The new facility delivers seasonal confectionary packaging close to the point of despatch and provides that extra flexibility which keeps IPS ahead of its competition.
The range of services provided by IPS across the ambient and chilled network include vertical and horizontal form fill and seal, multi-head weighing, mixing and blending, pouch fulfilment, cartoning, volumetric and auger feed weighing, over-wrapping, hand-packing and merchandising units. The complete range of services are complemented and supported by full packaging development, packaging specification and procurement often providing bespoke solutions to clients.

Being at the forefront of the industry means that IPS has to keep moving forward by keeping up with the very latest packaging technology, and that has meant a lot of investment in recent years. Andrew says, “We are constantly investing in new machinery in order to deliver the best solution for our customer. This year so far, we have invested in two new state of the art cereal packing lines and have also added new flow-wrappers, multiheads, cartoners and baggers. We now have more than 150 packing lines across our network and IPS is the largest and leading co-packing business in the UK.”

It’s that constant moving forward and the desire to be the best that means IPS doesn’t rest on its laurels. “We never take anything for granted and we are always challenging ourselves to improve,” says Andrew. “I think that this is why we are able to grow with our customers and help them grow at the same time. Providing new pack formats and additional flexibility is also growing our customer base and service offering. We are now three times larger than we were five years ago and we still have the same drive and opportunity to continue to grow.”

“Making sure we keep a flat management structure whilst continuing to attract talented people will undoubtedly help us to continue on our path. I’m really proud of what we have achieved so far and keeping our eyes firmly on the future will make sure our story continues.”