Tate & Lyle Responsive Design Conversion for a Multi-Brand Site

Tate & Lyle is a British-based multinational business, listed on the London Stock Exchange. The company specializes in manufacturing sugar-based food ingredients, as well as other ingredients, industrial chemicals and animal food. Tate&Lyle are known for their engagement, simplicity, and a quality-based company ideology.

Why Drupal

Tate&Lyle was looking for a CMS to replace its previous template-based system that was developed using SharePoint, while maintaining the existing design of all of its sites. Their leaning toward an open-source solution was mainly due to the large community that supports Drupal in general and Drupal 8 in particular. Each and every day, more and more updates and features are created and made available, more than any other open source CMS would normally grant.

Another point that weighed in choosing Drupal 8, against other CMS, was the ability to have a multi-site configuration (multiple databases sharing the same source code). Drupal has the support for multi-site installations even from its earlier versions.

Having to deal with 20 websites in more than 8 international languages, Drupal 8 was the perfect choice for this project. Drupal 8 comes with a lot of improvements to the multi-language architecture, making internationalization a lot easier than previous versions.

Also, the new Configuration Management options available in Drupal 8 facilitated the process of having an installation profile that is used each time a new site is created.

A premiere for Softescu, this was among the first large projects where we used Drupal 8 as CMS.

The project - multilingual Drupal 8 website

Due to legal constraints, Tate&Lyle wanted to keep their legacy design unchanged, yet to bring to it a responsive design. A multinational company with offices and customers all around the globe, Tate&Lyle needed an easy to use multilingual website where users of all nations could feel comfortable using their own language.

Keeping this piece of information in mind, we offered the solution of a Drupal 8 migration, completed with the insertion of a responsive design based on a Bootstrap grid.

To keep the old aspect of the websites, our designers added elements that made the design more fluent and the transitions more subtle.

Another part of their requirements was the possibility to spin up new sites using one of the 3 existing themes and having the same functionality as the existing sites.

Responsive Design

Two of their sites were already responsive and used completely different layouts than the other 18, so we had to create 3 customizable bootstrap based Drupal 8 themes to fulfill the requirements.

The new Tate & Lyle websites have a responsive design that keep the legacy of the old websites within the current legal agreements. Another important part of this project was to allow users to easily navigate the websites, regardless of the devices that they were using.

The new websites were designed to be responsive no matter the device. After all the changes have been implemented the websites have a cohesive user experience that transcends the cultural differences and makes the websites even simpler to use.

In the previous solution developed in SharePoint, the process of creating new pages involved adding common page elements like the header and footer on each page, thus creating visual inconsistencies between pages of the same site, not to mention between pages of different sites. With the new implementation of Drupal 8, this problem was solved, as we have standardized the design of all the sites to have a common layout for the header and footer and other page elements.

Drupal Website Case Study: Tate & Lyle


Industry: Food processing
Founded: Merger of Henry Tate & Sons and Abram Lyle & Sons in 1921
Headquarters: London, England, United Kingdom
Revenue: £2,356 million (2015)
Number of employees: 4,064 (2015)
Website: www.tateandlyle.com