Chewing gum giant Wrigley was forced to temporarily halt production in Plymouth last week because of the downturn.

The company said the 45-acre factory, which makes Wrigley's products including Wrigley's Extra, Airwaves and Orbit, had introduced "short-time working" at the factory.

"The factory was closed on Thursday 9 April and associates were not expected to come in," a spokesman said. "We organised short-time working so it coincided with the Easter holiday, when a number of associates were off anyway."

The factory is also scheduled to close from 26 May to 29 May to coincide with the May Day Bank Holiday.

The downtime comes despite Wrigley's launch in February of premium gum brand 5, backed by a hefty spend. In the same month, reports claimed Wrigley was doubling the amount of time it took to pay suppliers from 30 days to 60.