Heinz to pump $28m into frozen food plant in Massillon OH

By Elaine WATSON

- Last updated on GMT

Heinz's plant in Massillon OH "will be a flagship of our North American business, becoming our Frozen Food Center of Excellence”, said the firm
Heinz's plant in Massillon OH "will be a flagship of our North American business, becoming our Frozen Food Center of Excellence”, said the firm
Heinz has announced plans to pump $28m into expanding its frozen foods plant in Massillon, OH, creating 249 new jobs.

The news was announced shortly after Heinz unveiled plans to close three factories in Florence, SC (Smart Ones); Pocatello, ID (frozen entrees, snacks); and Leamington in Canada (ketchup); in the coming months, with the loss of 1,350 jobs.

Heinz - which said in August it was cutting 600 office jobs in the US and Canada in a bid to simplify its structure and speed up decision making - said production would shift to other facilities, adding 470 new jobs.

The Massillon plant, which currently employs around 400 people and makes frozen products under the Weight Watchers Smart Ones brand, “will be a flagship of our North American business, becoming our Frozen Food Center of Excellence”, ​said Heinz senior VP of corporate & government affairs Michael Mullen.

Efficiency drive

Pittsburgh-based Heinz - which was acquired in June for $28bn​ by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. conglomerate and investment company 3G Capital and has been on a cost-cutting drive ever since - said the plant closures were “a critical step in our plan to ensure we are operating as efficiently and effectively as possible".

It has also warned that 250 office jobs could be cut in the UK and Ireland, which union bosses have described as "savage​" and "unnecessary​" [click here​ for more details at our sister site FoodManufacture.co.uk].

Heinz, which recently lost a contract to supply McDonald’s with ketchup “as a result of recent management changes"​ (the appointment of ex-Burger King CEO Bernardo Hees​ as CEO) - generated sales of $11.6bn in 2012.

Europe is its biggest market ($3.4bn) followed by the US ($3.2bn).

In addition to its iconic Heinz ketchup, Heinz makes Classico spaghetti sauces, Ore-Ida potatoes and Smart Ones frozen meals in the US. In other major markets such as the UK it is best known for its soups, baked beans and babyfood.

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2 comments

Plant Expansions

Posted by Angela Freeman,

And thank God they are expanding in areas that have been devastated by the loss of companies and shipment overseas. Move to OH then! We have lost steel mills, Ford plants, GM plants, Sherwin William plants and many many call centers that have been shifted to India, Phillipines and Nigeria. And lets talk about towns that were built around them.....my father was laid off from Ford for 5 yrs when they were closing the plant in Vermilion/Lorain OH. Family to feed and no income. Lorain is a ghost town now. Where are you Sean Cunningham? Im sure its a metropolitan area. My whole family has suffered over the years and we are thrilled to see something finally come to our area. Shame on you for being selfish and dwelling on your area only. We need it just as much as the next town!

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Plant closures

Posted by Sean Cunningham,

Plant closures are only about making investors happy! Never mind the families devastatsed by the closures, not to mention the towns that were built around them. Shame on you!

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