A NORTH Yorkshire tofu producer is positioned for rapid expansion following a move to new production facilities and investment in Japanese machinery.

The Tofoo Co has secured a six-figure funding package from HSBC to finance the scaling up of its production by moving into an additional 6,000 sq ft manufacturing facility in Malton and purchasing a state-of-the-art soy bean cooker from Japan.

Founded in 2016, The Tofoo Co produces tofu, the protein rich, low-fat foodstuff made from soy beans.

Following the investment, the business expects to increase its production capability by a further 50 per cent to meet increasing consumer demand and support its ambitious growth plans.

As a result, The Tofoo Co expects to increase turnover by 100 per cent to close to £5 million in 2018 and create up to 13 new jobs in the next 12 months.

David Knibbs, managing director of The Tofoo Co, said: “Consumers are becoming more adventurous, as well as increasingly health conscious, and we have seen this translate into increasing demand for our products.

“To keep up with this demand we initially invested in sales and marketing, however it was the scaling-up of our production processes that was key to us continuing to grow.

“With the backing of HSBC we are now in the position to bring more great tasting tofu to a broader market.”

Now a market leader, the business is owned by David Knibbs and Lydia Smith, who saw a gap on supermarket shelves for great tasting organic tofu made to a traditional Japanese recipe.

The Tofoo Co currently produces three flavours, including smoked and oriental, which are stocked by retailers including Waitrose, Tesco and Sainsbury’s.

Martin Goodall, HSBC’s relationship manager for North and East Yorkshire, said: “Despite already enjoying great success, The Tofoo Co was not content with staying still. Instead, the business is bringing its products to the mass market by boosting productivity and growing its workforce. Malton has a well-deserved reputation as a centre for the high quality food production and The Tofoo Co sets the benchmark high.”