The BEST Episodes of Inside the Factory
Every episode ever - ranked by fan votes!
Last Updated: Nov 28, 2021
Network: BBC Two
Gregg Wallace and Cherry Healey get exclusive access to some of the largest food factories in Britain to reveal the secrets behind food production on an epic scale.
#1 - Soft Drinks
Season 3 - Episode 6 - Aired Jan 16, 2018
Gregg Wallace explores Ribena's Gloucestershire factory, which turns 90 per cent of Britain's blackcurrants into soft drinks, producing three million bottles a week. Meanwhile, Cherry Healey is harvesting the berries on a 543-acre farm in Kent - one of 40 that supply the factory. Plus, historian Ruth Goodman investigates the origins of fizzy drinks. Last in the series.
#2 - Bread
Season 1 - Episode 1 - Aired May 5, 2015
Gregg Wallace discovers how one of Britain's largest bakeries makes up to one and a half million loaves of bread each week. Following the production of one of the nation's favourite loaves, he uncovers the secrets to baking four thousand loaves at once and reveals the incredible machine that can bag a loaf of bread in midair. Cherry Healey goes inside one of the largest flour mills in the country to discover what it takes to make the perfect flour and reveals the secret science to storing bread at home. And historian Ruth Goodman looks at why we've always been in love with the white loaf and shows the hidden killers that used to lurk in our bread.
#3 - Toilet Roll
Season 4 - Episode 2 - Aired Jul 24, 2018
Gregg Wallace explores the Manchester factory that produces 700,000 toilet rolls a day. He begins with 940 miles away in Sweden where the raw materials, wood, is harvested from a sustainable forest of one billion spruce trees.
#5 - Pasta
Season 3 - Episode 2 - Aired Jul 25, 2017
Gregg Wallace is at the world's largest dried pasta factory in Italy where they produce 150,000 kilometres of spaghetti each day. Meanwhile, Cherry Healey is discovering why the best pasta is made with durum wheat, and Ruth Goodman discovers that the product arrived in Britain much earlier than many would imagine.
#6 - Curry
Season 4 - Episode 4 - Aired Aug 14, 2018
Gregg Wallace explores the Nottinghamshire factory that makes 250,000 jars of curry sauce each day. Meanwhile Cherry Hawley is in Guntur, the chili capital of India, where they sell 3500 tonnes of chili each day.
#7 - Fish Fingers
Season 3 - Episode 4 - Aired Jan 2, 2018
Gregg Wallace visits a factory in Grimsby that produces nearly 80,000 fish fingers a day. He discover how frozen fish is brought to the factory in compressed blocks that weigh 7,484 kilos, and has to remain frozen through every stage of the manufacturing process. Cherry Healey travels to Iceland to find out how cod are caught and prepared for the factory, and Ruth Goodman discovers the origin of fish fingers.
#8 - Pots and Pans
Season 5 - Episode 6 - Aired Apr 14, 2020
Gregg Wallace is in France at an enormous foundry that produces a cast iron pot every five seconds.
#9 - Mattresses
Season 5 - Episode 4 - Aired Aug 20, 2019
Gregg Wallace is in Leeds at an enormous mattress factory that produces 600 bouncy beds every day. Meanwhile, Cherry Healey learns whether there are benefits to be had from taking an afternoon nap.
#10 - Pasties
Season 5 - Episode 5 - Aired Apr 7, 2020
Gregg Wallace is in Cornwall at an enormous bakery where they produce 180,000 pasties a day.
#11 - Cereal
Season 2 - Episode 1 - Aired Jul 26, 2016
Over the course of six episodes they’ll take viewers on a guided tour of the production lines that operate 24 hours a day to make some of the UK’s favourite products on an industrial scale. Every morning in Britain we get through over one and half million bowls of cornflakes. In Cereal, Gregg will be on the factory floor at Kelloggs’s biggest factory near Manchester, which is the single largest producer of breakfast cereal in Europe. We’ll see Gregg receiving corn fresh off the boat from Argentina and following its journey as it is cooked, milled and flavoured to become Crunchy Nut Cornflakes. He'll discover how the factory can produce more than a million boxes of cereal every 24 hours and distribute them all over the UK, Europe and across the globe, as far away as Malaysia. Meanwhile Cherry Healey looks beyond the factory floor to find out why many vitamins are added to breakfast cereal and the resultant health benefits of doing so. She also discovers the effect that skipping breakfast has on our cognitive function and she follows the production of the nation’s best-selling cereal, Weetabix, learning how every single grain of wheat that is milled for these wheat biscuits is grown within a 50 mile radius of the factory. And historian Ruth Goodman looks at how breakfast cereal was invented as a healthy alternative to the average Victorian household’s mind-boggling breakfast feasts. Ruth will also discover the effect of nostalgia, with the six top selling cereals in the UK today all invented more than 30 years ago.
#13 - Coffee
Season 4 - Episode 1 - Aired Jul 17, 2018
Gregg Wallace is at a coffee factory where they produce 175,000 jars of instant coffee every day. He follows the production of freeze fried instant coffee, from the arrival of 27 tonnes of Brazilian green coffee beans right through to dispatch.
#14 - Chocolate
Season 1 - Episode 2 - Aired May 6, 2015
Gregg Wallace is inside one of the world's largest chocolate factories in York to discover how they produce a staggering seven million bars a day. He'll follow the incredible 24-hour journey - from bean to bar - of one of our bestselling chocolates and meet the team of people who work around the clock to keep up with that demand. Cherry Healey gets hands on with the hundreds of workers on a production line in Derbyshire where the millions of chocolate boxes they produce every year are still surprisingly handmade. Historian Ruth Goodman delves through the chocolate archives to find out what it was like working in the factories before the machines took over, and she meets the people who found love on the production line.
#15 - Sweets
Season 2 - Episode 5 - Aired Aug 23, 2016
In the fifth episode of Inside The Factory we see Gregg Wallace helping to unload a tanker full of sugar from Norfolk and follows it through one of the oldest sweet factories in Britain - Swizzels in Derbyshire - to see how over 500 workers, as well as some mind-boggling machines, transform it into over a hundred million individual sweets within just 24 hours. He'll discover how this factory that produces Lovehearts could be the most romantic place to work in the world and how the words on Lovehearts have evolved over the decades. Gregg will also find out how they make 5,000 Fizzers a minute using a tablet pressing machine that uses three tonnes of pressure to create each sweet, and he meets the man in charge of making three quarters of a million Fruity Pop lollies every day. Meanwhile Cherry Healey is let inside the research and development department and experiences for herself how hard it is to come up with a new product - plus she researches how the country you’re from has an impact on the sweets you like. She also finds out how they put the letters in seaside rock and is given special access to the Fisherman’s Friend factory in Lancashire to discover how a local family turned a niche product into a worldwide success. And historian Ruth Goodman investigates how sweets were first invented and discovers that, in the Middle Ages, they were used as a medicine and thought to reduce flatulence. She’ll also find out about the human cost of Britain’s sweet tooth in the 18th century and how an abolition movement instigated a sugar boycott which helped to end the slave trade.
#17 - Milk
Season 1 - Episode 3 - Aired May 7, 2015
Gregg Wallace gets exclusive access to one of the largest fresh milk processing plants on earth to see how they get milk from cow to carton in less than 24 hours. He reveals how one factory can process 2,000 litres of milk in under a minute and visits the hi-tech British farms where the cows are milked entirely by robots. Cherry Healey discovers how milk is used to make cheese and ice cream on an epic scale and reveals why most people in the world actually can't drink milk - and what makes us unusual in Britain. Historian Ruth Goodman investigates our complicated history with the white stuff and discovers just how tough it would have been to work as a dairy maid.
#18 - Shoes
Season 2 - Episode 6 - Aired Aug 30, 2016
Gregg Wallace joins a human production line in the largest sports shoe factory in the UK to see how they produce three-and-a-half thousand pairs of trainers every 24 hours by sewing 32 million individual stiches and using 140 miles of thread. He makes his own pair of shoes and discovers how they put together 27 different pieces made from eight different materials which require auto and manual stitching and finishing with a 'roughening' robot and a hot oven. He also meets the man who comes up with new designs, including trainers inspired by the three most popular pub names in England. Meanwhile, Cherry Healey gets hands on in a tannery to help them process thousands of rawhides into finished leather for the nation's shoes, and finds out how a ballet shoe company painstakingly turns 37,000 square meters of satin into a quarter-of-a-million ballet shoes - some of which only last for one performance. She also gets to design her own court shoes at Cordwainers College in London, where she learns how to turn creative ideas into commercial products - last year, sales of women's designer shoes topped £532 million. And historian Ruth Goodman reveals how, when the sewing machine was first introduced into shoe factories in the mid-19th century, traditional shoemakers went on strike, rebelling against joining a restrictive production line. She also traces the surprising origins of the humble trainer to the back streets of Bolton, where Joe Foster invented his running spike in 1895, above his father's sweet shop, and discovers that Reebok trainers were originally British.
#20 - Sauces
Season 3 - Episode 5 - Aired Jan 9, 2018
Gregg Wallace investigates the production of sauces in the Netherlands. Meanwhile, Cherry Healey lends a hand with making the glass jars needed for mayonnaise, and Ruth Goodman discovers how Brits first fell in love with mayo in the 1960s.
#21 - Tea Bags
Season 3 - Episode 1 - Aired Jul 18, 2017
Gregg Wallace recives a load of tea leaves from Kenya and follows their journey through the the factory that produces one quarter of all the tea we drink in Britain. Gregg turns his 20 tonne batch into 6.9 million bags.
#22 - Liqueurs
Season 5 - Episode 8 - Aired Apr 28, 2020
Gregg Wallace is in Ireland at an enormous liqueurs factory, where they produce 540,000 bottles a day.
#23 - Baked Beans
Season 2 - Episode 3 - Aired Aug 9, 2016
Gregg Wallace helps to unload 27 tonnes of dried haricot beans from North America and follows them on a one and a half mile journey through the largest baked bean factory in the world, which makes more than three million cans of beans every 24 hours. Gregg discovers how a laser scrutinizes every single bean, how the spice recipe for the sauce is a classified secret known only by two people, and, most surprisingly, how the beans are cooked in the can in a room of giant pressure cookers - not baked at all! Meanwhile, Cherry Healey follows the journey of her discarded baked bean can through a recycling centre and on to the largest steelworks in the UK, where she watches a dramatic, fiery process that produces 320 tonnes of molten steel - enough to make eight million cans. She also takes a can that is 14 months after its best before date to a lab at the University of Coventry and is amazed when tests reveal it has the same Vitamin C levels compared to fresh tomatoes. The lab also prove that a 45-year-old tin of Skippers is still fit to eat. And historian Ruth Goodman reveals that in the early 19th century, malnutrition killed more than half of all British seamen, and how tinned food was invented to improve their nutrition and prevent them developing scurvy on their long voyages at sea. Ruth also relates how Henry Heinz first marketed baked beans in the UK in the early 1900s and made them a family favourite. Today, we get through more than two million cans of them every day.
#24 - Cereal Bars
Season 5 - Episode 9 - Aired May 5, 2020
Gregg Wallace is in Essex at an enormous cereal bar factory, which produces 400,000 fruit- and nut-packed treats a day. Gregg follows production from the arrival of two tonnes of macadamia nuts all the way through to dispatch.
#25 - Cherry Bakewells
Season 5 - Episode 1 - Aired Jul 30, 2019
Gregg Wallace is in Derbyshire at an enormous cherry bakewell factory, where they produce 250,000 of the little tarts a day.