Del Monte Pacific to close two US vegetable plants amid low demand

Del Monte Pacific, the Singapore- and Philippines-listed canned fruit and vegetable giant, has announced that it will shut down two of its US vegetable plants by the end of April. The decision, which will affect more than 200 employees, is part of the company’s strategy to streamline its operations and align its capacity with consumer demand.

Del Monte Pacific to exit liquid soups segment in US

The two plants that will be closed are located in Toppenish, Washington, and Markesan, Wisconsin. They are operated by Del Monte Foods, the US subsidiary of Del Monte Pacific. The plants produce liquid soups under the Knorr brand, as well as green beans, corn, and peas.

The closure of the plants will mark the end of Del Monte Pacific’s presence in the liquid soups segment in the US, which has been declining in recent years due to changing consumer preferences and competition. The company said that the liquid soups category represents less than 5% of its US sales.

Del Monte Pacific
Del Monte Pacific

The company will continue to sell other products under the Knorr brand in the US, such as stock cubes and pots, gravies, instant soups and pasta, which are not affected by the closure. The company will also retain its ownership and management of the other brands in its US portfolio, such as Del Monte, Contadina, College Inn, and S&W.

Del Monte Pacific to pursue asset-light strategy and branded growth

The company said that the closure of the plants is a necessary step for it to remain competitive in a rapidly changing marketplace. The company said that it is pursuing an asset-light strategy, which will lead to more efficient and lower cost operations. The company said that it will focus on its core categories and brands, and on innovation and growth.

The company also said that it will fully utilize the capacity of its existing production facilities and increase its outsourcing to third-party manufacturers. The company said that it will transfer the production of the affected products to other locations in the US, and that it will ensure a smooth transition for the employees, customers, and suppliers involved in the process.

The company also said that it is committed to doing all it can to provide the affected employees with resources and support. The company said that it is in the process of bargaining with the union in Toppenish over the effects of the closure, and that it will comply with the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act.

Del Monte Pacific to face challenges and opportunities in the US market

The closure of the plants is the latest move by Del Monte Pacific to restructure its US business, which has been facing challenges such as rising costs, low margins, and changing consumer trends. In 2019, the company closed two other plants in Sleepy Eye, Minnesota, and Mendota, Illinois, affecting more than 360 jobs.

However, the company also sees opportunities in the US market, which is the largest and most profitable for the group. The company said that it is investing in its brands and products, and that it is expanding its presence in the growing segments of the canned fruit and vegetable industry, such as organic, plant-based, and ready-to-eat products.

The company also said that it is leveraging its global network and capabilities to offer differentiated and value-added products to the US consumers. The company said that it is confident in its long-term prospects and potential in the US market, and that it will continue to deliver quality and nutritious products to its customers.

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