NEW YORK (AP) — Campbell Soup Co. is closing two U.S. plants and cutting more than 700 jobs as it looks to trim costs amid declining canned soup consumption.
The world’s largest soup maker said today that it will close a plant in Sacramento, Calif., that has about 700 full-time workers.
Campbell also plans to shutter a spice plant in South Plainfield, N.J. that has 27 employees. Production will be shifted to the company’s only other U.S. plant, in Milwaukee.
Employees at the two closing plants were notified that there would be a meeting at 6 a.m. local time today; about 400 workers showed up for the meeting in California, where they were told of the closure.
“It’s always difficult, even when there’s a business case that is compelling,” said Anthony Sanzio, a Campbell spokesman. “You’re dealing with people, and this is going to impact 700 employees who’ve worked together closely for many years.”
CEO Denise Morrison, who was been on the job for about a year, was not present at the meeting.
The announcement comes as Campbell looks to reinvent itself with dozens of new soup flavors and sauces intended to lure younger consumers. Many of the new products come in pouches designed to convey a fresher feel, rather than the iconic steel cans that have long defined the company.