Wade Ceramics has opened a new production line, which it says completes a £7.5m investment programme in the latest robotic manufacturing equipment.
The company, which has simultaneously moved its Stoke factory to a new address at Bessemer Drive, is also bringing production of its famous Gluggle jugs back to the city from overseas.
The fish-shaped jugs, so called because of the intriguing gurgling noise they make when water is poured from them, have been around for well over a century. However, for reasons Wade cannot explain, there has been a surge in their sales in the US recently.
It says that at this March’s International Home and Housewares Show in Chicago “the interest in our unique Gluggle jug was phenomenal”.
The jugs had been made in Asia, but with costs spiralling and production lead times too long and inflexible, the company is now moving the manufacturing to Stoke.
It produces 100,000 of the jugs a year, but owing to their rising popularity in the US it is having trouble keeping up with demand. It says it is therefore looking to partner with other north Staffordshire pottery firms to help it meet its production requirements.