An Impressive Heritage and History

Knighton Foods was formed in June 2014, and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Premier Foods plc.

Our manufacturing site at Adbaston in Staffordshire has a long history of food production, dating back as far as 1911, when the chocolate company, Cadbury, developed a milk collection facility here to transport milk by canal from surrounding Staffordshire farms to Bourneville in the West Midlands.

Manufacture of chocolate crumb on the Adbaston site followed some time later.

Knighton Who We Are

The Factory in the Fields

The January 1951 issue of the Bournville Works magazine featured an aerial photograph of the Knighton factory on its front cover. Describing the photo inside, the editor writes, “…this photograph shows that, if Bournville is ‘The Factory in a Garden’ then Knighton is ‘The Factory in the Fields.’”

The Knighton factory owes its existence to the huge popularity of Cadbury’s Dairy Milk chocolate in the twentieth century. The factory was established by Cadbury’s in 1911 to make chocolate crumb for the Bournville factory. The attraction of the rural – and at the time remote – location was a ready supply of milk and good links to Bournville via the Shropshire Union canal.

The second phase of the factory’s success is based on spray drying. This process first came to Knighton with the introduction of Marvel Instant Skimmed milk powder in 1963. The spray drying and associated processes opened up all sorts of possibilities for making powdered goods which have been fully exploited up to the present day.

The Factory In The Fields
The Knighton Chern Tower 1931

The Knighton Churn Tower 1931

Milk was delivered to the factory by canal, and was collected from local farms in churns.

These churns were then emptied washed and stored in the churn tower until they were sent back to the farm.

In 1963 the M1 building was built to produce the Marvel brand.

Production of Marvel starts operating in the plant in 1964.

Knighton Spray Dryer 1963


In May 2016, Knighton Foods Ltd became a wholly owned subsidiary of Premier Foods plc. Find out more about our parent company at:

Meet The Knighton Foods Senior team

Our people are the secret to our success, without them we would not have the business that we do and would not be able to offer the levels of Service that our customers expect. We therefore value our people highly, invest in them and give them the recognition and reward that they deserve for all the hard work and effort they put in.

Welcome to the Knighton Foods Senior Team, we have all included a short resume of what qualifies us to do the roles that we do, and a few interesting facts about us, together with a photo that will help put you at ease with the small talk when meeting us for the first time.

Customers should feel free to contact us directly at any time, after all, we are here to deliver the best possible levels of Customer Service and help you meet your needs.

We really want to hear from potential new suppliers who can help us with our Continuous Improvement programmes and who share in our passion for innovation. We would respectfully request that potential new suppliers email in the first instance, this will allow us to put you in touch with the right person and ensure that you receive a quick response. We would ask that you don’t contact our Senior Team directly as they are responsible for ensuring that we always ‘Put the Customer at the Heart of Everything We Do’

Richard Ilsley – Chief Executive Officer

Richard Ilsley – Chief Executive Officer

Martin West – Chief Operations Officer

Martin West – Chief Operations Officer

Steven Howarth – Commercial Director

Steven Howarth – Commercial Director

Sharon Blurton – HR Business Partner

Sharon Blurton – HR Business Partner

Zela Clarke – Operations Manager

Zela Clarke – Operations Manager

Jon Cheswick – Technical Manager

Jon Cheswick – Technical Manager

Lee Millward

Lee Millward – Engineering Manager

Ivor Blanch – Engineering Manager

Ivor Blanch – Engineering Project Manager

Jan Cook – Financial Controller

Jan Cook – Financial Controller

Diane Durieux

Diane Durieux – Supply Chain and Logistics Manager

Colin Wilding

Colin Wilding – Business Unit Director – Consumer Foods

Paul Cannings

Paul Cannings – Business Unit Director – Ingredients

Knighton Foods :: Get In Touch