Nestlé Rowntree is cutting its workforce by almost 8% following a business review.
A total of 275 jobs will go, including 234 from its York head office and factory, with the remainder from its facility at Fawdon, Tyne & Wear. They will be phased out from the spring and Nestlé hopes that most will be voluntary redundancies.
Nestlé’s confectionery division employs 3,500 workers, mainly in York. Other production sites include Halifax and Castleford in Yorkshire. Production of Munchies will transfer from York to Fawdon in the restructure.
Nestlé cited increased price pressure from retailers, which meant it was “falling behind on its competitive positioning”, as the reason for the restructure. MD Paul Grimwood said the decision was “about building the long-term future of Nestlé’s brands in the UK”.
He added: “Our focus is firmly on reinvestment in the business and the continued drive for improved quality and marketing support for our brands.”
The York factory produces the company’s iconic Kit Kat brand, for which sales fell by 24% in the year to October 1 [ACNielsen], while the UK confectionery market showed a 1% uplift.
Nestlé’s announcement coincides with the news that premium chocolate supplier Elizabeth Shaw has been sold to Noi Sirius, the largest confectionery manufacturer in Iceland. The company had already announced plans to close its Bristol factory and outsource production, mainly to UK producers.
Mary Carmichael