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Private label or brand consumers are switching sq2

A tightening economy sees increased focus on private-label production, driving the demand for quality, cost-efficiency and sustainability

Private label or brand consumers are switching
Private label or brand? Consumers are switching

But is this change all about price?

Not according to Circana, a global leader in consumer behaviour.

Their research reveals a major part of the shift is from traditional trusted brands to retailers’ own mid to high-end Private Label ranges.

”…Sixty per cent of shoppers in Europe now think private labels are as good as national brands, and crucially: 21% of consumers who buy both, many of whom are middle-income cohorts, now think they are better than national brands”

Steph Cullen, head of Circana

Customer trust in Private Label brands has been won through retailers’ constant focus on innovation and quality.

Retailer’s manufacturing partners have a deep understanding of this market dynamic. As a result, they are ready to invest in mixing capability that helps meet retailers’ demands.

Brand Switch 2022
A clear switch to Private-Label

The Greaves Experience

In Greaves’ own experience, private label manufacturers are often more willing to embrace new methods than brand competitors as they seek our help to meet the exacting standards of leading food retailers.

Rapid mixing, repeatability, consistency and swift batch changes are always top of their agenda.

However, there is also a new focus on sustainability. Goals include reduced energy consumption, lower processing waste and extended shelf life.

The Greaves Effect

Greaves engineers work collaboratively with manufacturers’ technical teams. We first evaluate current performance and then offer innovative ways of achieving their objectives whilst complying with certification requirements.

Our initial consultation involves a “deep dive” into existing processes. This is key in identifying what additional gains might be achieved beyond our customer’s initial expectations.

We find customers are frequently surprised at the significant capacity and quality gains achievable through a relatively small investment.

Automation Benefits
Automation Benefits

Often, the number and size of machines required are less than anticipated. New mixing technology can dramatically reduce cycle times.

Furthermore, process waste can regularly be reduced to insignificant levels. As a result, this helps customers achieve their sustainability goals and deliver additional cost savings.

Greaves Deliver

In summary, Greaves’ collaborative approach enables our customers to consistently deliver quality products with the extended shelf life that meets retailers’ sustainability goals.

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COVID-19 Update – Methylcellulose base for Hand Sanitiser

The coronavirus lockdown persists in presenting significant challenges. Also, a central focus is increasing the production of Hand-sanitiser, a key to the UK’s national response to the Covid-19 crisis.

Recently, we have been receiving reports of difficulty with the supply of suitable gel thickening agents, typically Carbopol. However, methylcellulose may offer an alternative.

One of our long-standing partners, John Ryland, is a Director at process engineering specialist Ryland Research,

John contacted Greaves to tell us about the work his company has done in the manufacture of gelled alcohol fuel. This is very similar to hand cleaner in composition. Furthermore, the primary thickener used was methylcellulose, a common ingredient in food production.

"We have the know-how to set up gelled alcohol manufacturing plants using methylcellulose. As a result,  we would be happy to
support any company wishing to explore these options for the manufactureof hand sanitisers or similar.”
John Ryland, Owner, Ryland Research

In addition, Ryland Research has proved to be an invaluable partner over many years to Greaves and our customers. Consequently, we would urge anyone who is interested in options for alternative base thickeners for their hand sanitiser project to seek their help:-

Call: +44 (0) 1420 732237

Focusing on the positives

Since the early days of the pandemic back in mid-March, hand sanitiser has been on the radar for many manufacturers and the Greaves team has already helped several customers switch their capacity away from traditional high viscosity products to the manufacture of this greatly needed item.

We continue to work flat-out helping customers.

If you are looking for technical mixing advice for your production project, please contact us here

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Fighting Covid 19 together, safely

There is no doubt that the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak is presenting a considerable global challenge. As a result, it’s awe-inspiring to see how all in the manufacturing sector have pulled together in a period of massive change.

We are very proud of our own terrific team. We have worked together to create our Safety First plan to safely maintain production and support the needs of our customers in key industries including food supply, pharmaceuticals and healthcare.

Greaves’ Safety First Plan includes:-

  • Working from home wherever possible
  • Improved workflow to minimise contact
  • Minimum 4m between workstations
  • Rigorous cleaning and sanitisation procedures
  • Use of new digital production planning tools

With these measures we are on target to deliver current orders and have taken on several new fast track projects. Furthermore, Greaves are supporting our customers in increasing output of products key to the fight against Covid 19, including

  • Hand sanitiser
  • Anti-viral and anti-bacterial cleaning products
  • Food production

A time for positive action

Greaves help manufacturers adapt production


We have also helped a number of established customers reconfigure their production capability to address shortages of high demand items. Most noteworthy, within the past week we have advised two manufacturers of paints and coatings in the use of existing Greaves mixing systems to produce anti-viral hand sanitiser.

We are now in the process of contacting other customers with similar equipment and advising them how they too can join the national effort to produce these vital products.

Finally, if you would like to know more or feel might be able to help you in these challenging times, please get in touch.

Phone: 01706 824 191

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100 years and still improving – The Move to High Performance Mixing

2019 is our centenary year. Over the past 100 years, Greaves has built an enviable reputation for our knowledge and expertise in mixing processes and systems. While the technologies have continually developed to meet the growing needs and expectations of our customers, we have witnessed a significant acceleration in the sophistication of mixing requirements over the past 20 years.

Above all, with market forces driving a relentless pursuit of product quality and consistency, our clients have been pressed to constantly improve their manufacturing processes. As a result, enhanced technical performance and mixing productivity are now essential. These advances have primarily been achieved through process systems delivering ever more flexible control automation and a corresponding reduction in the need for human intervention.

In today’s manufacturing world, the Greaves Team sees a constant requirement for High-Performance Mixing Solutions and Integrated Mixing Systems. Furthermore, we have seen this shift across all of our markets whether industrial chemicals, food or pharmaceuticals.

Examples of 21st Century integrated mixing systems from Greaves

Consequently, many features that might have been considered as optional ‘add-ons’ or costly luxuries in the 1980s and 90s are now common requirements:

  • Hygienic design with no “hang-ups” to avoid cross-contamination
  • Highly-polished stainless steel
  • Integrated cleaning systems for rapid product change
  • Rapid heating and cooling for energy efficiency
  • Pressurised/vacuum vessels to control cycle times
  • High-performance shaft sealing technology to eliminate product leakage
  • Automated filling and discharge to expedite production turnaround
  • Programmable cycle control with batch recording for end-to-end traceability
  • Material and finish certification, FAT & SAT acceptance for comprehensive documentation

Notwithstanding these rapid changes, we are proud to maintain our position at the forefront of industrial mixing technology.

So, here’s to the next 100 years.

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2018 – Another Record Year

2018 has seen another positive year of growth at Joshua Greaves & Sons Ltd with numerous highlights.  Most noteworthy are not only the overall growth in the business but also the technical development of our mixers.We are seeing interesting trends with more mixers being supplied to the cosmetics and food sectors. This reflects a steady increase in the sophistication of equipment specified by our customers, both in terms of mixing capability and environmental consideration. Check out our newest and most sophisticated mixer ever pictured above.

2018 has also seen a record number of mixers delivered by us during the year.

Managing this growth demands continuing focus on developing the business.  Especially relevant is our sustained commitment to investment.

The importance of investment

Some highlights of our technical investment during 2018:

  • Investment in design
    • New CAD modelling software
    • Design engineering capacity growth
  • Investment in manufacturing
    • 10% productivity uplift
    • 20% capacity uplift
  • Investment in innovation
    • New CosMix Quad
    • High-level Pharma & Food compliance – URS/FAT etc.

Expanding workforce

Alongside our technical investment, we have expanded our team and our network

  • Expansion of the procurement team
  • 3 new Apprentices
  • 1 additional Assembly Engineer
  • A new Metal Finishing department

All in all, 2018 has been another encouraging year and we are confident of further growth, looking forward to more innovation in 2019

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Mixing Productivity – Is your Mixing fit for 2018?

Whenever we turn on the news and hear politicians and economists discussing the UK’s prospects, we know the discussion will inevitably turn to one topic. PRODUCTIVITY.

Productivity growth is key to economic growth and at the heart of government forecasting. This graph shows how even if the short-term reality shows a backwards step, the longer term trend is always a forecast of growth

Productivity growth forecast to rise despite short-term fall

Although there were clear downgrades of forecast between March and November 2017, future expectations show a steady rise.

So what’s this got to do with mixing?

Simple really, while the government focuses on the macro, this is simply a big-picture view of what is going on at a smaller scale. Whatever the industry, there are key requirements that impact on productivity. Mixing processes are no different. There are key areas where improvement can have a significant and positive impact on mixing productivity.

  • Minimum process time
  • Minimum changeover time
  • Complete confidence in product quality

Several underlying factors drive these requirements. Improvements in any single one is beneficial while wider improvement can prove really significant.:-

  • Rapid addition of materials
  • Efficient circulation in the mixing vessel
  • Rapid and effective mixing tool
  • Consistency through automation
  • Rapid discharge
  • Quick and easy cleaning, with minimum operator input
  • Reduced wastage
  • Consistent results, regardless of batch size

A consistent approach

Greaves has expertise across all of these areas and our focus is on across-the-board analysis of the opportunities. As a result, by getting all these factors right, we have regularly delivered the potential for productivity improvements of between 100 and 400%

Whatever our customer’s process, Greaves engineers always conduct a thorough process review, seeking opportunities to increase throughput and reduce wastage, opportunities that combine to deliver increased productivity.

Opportunities bring with them a clear return on investment through reduced unit cost. Equally important is the opportunity to increase capacity and grow sales.

For your business, what would be the bottom line impact of just 20% increase in sales opportunity with no increase in running costs?

Why not talk to us…

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2017 – Onward & Upward……

3000L multi-function high-shear mixer. A high viscosity homogeniser designed with comprehensive environmental (pressure and temperature) controls. Our most sophisticated mixer to date.

2017 has seen another positive year of growth at Joshua Greaves & Sons Ltd with numerous highlights.  Most noteworthy are not only the overall growth in the business but also the technical development of our mixers.

We have delivered a record number of mixers during the year. With more mixers being supplied to the cosmetics and food sectors, we are seeing a steady growth in the sophistication of equipment both in terms of mixing capability and environmental consideration – check out our newest and most sophisticated mixer ever pictured right.

We have also achieved 50% growth in sales of vessels during the year.

Managing this growth demands continuing focus on developing the business.  Especially relevant is our sustained commitment to investment.

The importance of investment

Some highlights of our technical investment during 2017:

  • Investment in design
    • Introduce new CAD modelling
    • Increased design engineering capacity
  • Investment in manufacturing
    • 10% productivity uplift
    • 20% capacity uplift
  • Investment in innovation
    • New “MACS 3000” system  (Mixing Aseptically with Conditioned Shear)
    • High-level Pharma & Food compliance – URS/FAT etc.

Alongside our technical investment, we have expanded our team and our network

  • Expansion of the procurement team
  • New process & solutions partner – CPI (Ireland) Ltd.

All in all, 2017 has been another encouraging year and we are confident of further growth and look forward to more innovation in 2018


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Sharing the Christmas Spirit across the generations

Supporting local charity is important to Greaves – and particularly at this time of year. In 2017 we are pleased to be supporting 2 local events covering the complete spectrum from young to old. The events also bring focus onto difficulties that are particularly prevalent at this time of year, loneliness and homelessness.

Community Christmas Dinner

Christmas can sometimes be the loneliest time of year, especially for the vulnerable and elderly people that live in our local area.

Without families, or friends, people can find themselves alone at this festive period, so the team at Evolving Fitness Gym has joined forces with local business sponsors, including Joshua Greaves to host a community Christmas dinner at 2.30pm on Thursday 21st December 2017 at Haslingden Cricket Club.

Anyone who might find themselves apart from family or friends on Christmas Day is welcome to come along.

Alternatively, if you know someone in your local community who will be alone this Christmas, please contact the team. We can personally invite them to join the celebrations

To get in touch, please call Nichola McCloud on 07925237485 or Lisa Foster on 07984467053. Alternatively, email