TreeHouse Foods, Inc. will lay off about 90 workers when it closes its Brooklyn Park plant later this year, the company announced Thursday.
It is one of three plants that the foodmaker, based in suburban Chicago, plans to shutter or downsize in an effort to reduce costs and increase efficiency across its manufacturing operations. Like the rest of the packaged-food industry, TreeHouse is struggling to grow as consumers shift away from processed foods toward fresher options.
"These measures are required if we are to remain competitive in a rapidly changing marketplace for packaged foods," Sam K. Reed, chairman and chief executive of TreeHouse, said in a statement. "In order to win in today's marketplace, we must not only produce the finest quality at the lowest costs, but also fully utilize the capacity of our plants and the capability of our people in doing so."
TreeHouse makes snacks, cereals, condiments and more that are sold under the name of other companies, usually a supermarket's own brand. At the Brooklyn Park facility, the company produces pre-made, boxed dinners and side dishes. Production will cease by the end of the year.
In 2010, the Chicago company bought Brooklyn Park-based S.T. Specialty Foods for $180 million. S.T., founded in the early 1990s, specialized in making boxed macaroni and cheese, skillet dinners and boxed rice mixes. S.T. was raking in $100 million in annual sales by the time it was sold to TreeHouse.
TreeHouse will also idle 150 workers at a plant in Indiana and another 135 employees at an Alabama facility.
The company said it will provide job-placement resources to all laid-off employees.