Food giant Nestlé is proposing a shake up its confectionery operations in northern England, including the closure of a factory on the outskirts of Newcastle by the end of 2023.
Proposed Fawdon closure
The proposal puts 573 jobs at risk, consisting of 475 at Fawdon and 98 at York.
The Fawdon facility makes what Nestlé described as ‘more local confectionery brands’, such as Rolos, Munchies, Fruit Pastilles and Matchmakers. More recently, the site has also taken on the manufacturing of new products Smarties Buttons, Milkybar Mix-ups and Mini Eggs.
“Our Fawdon factory is home to many smaller, low-growth brands and maintains a diverse and complex mix of production techniques,” noted the company.
FoodNavigator asked Nestlé whether the proposal was related to a change in consumer demand.
"Confectionery sales do fluctuate, but on the whole the business is doing well,” we were told.
“However, we need a more efficient manufacturing footprint to enable us to invest and strengthen our business for the long-term.”
Investments in York and Halifax
Nestlé plans to transfer production at Fawdon to other, existing, factories in the UK and Europe.
This would be accompanied by a £20.2m investment in its York factory to ‘modernise’ and increase KitKat production – up to 500,000 more KitKats per day.
Nestlé also wants to invest £9.2m at Halifax, where it manufactures Quality Street sweets. The investment would equip the factory to take on the largest portion of Fawdon’s current production.
These new proposals would allow Nestlé Confectionery to meet broadly the same manufacturing requirements and increase overall volume with fewer factories in its network.
“These proposals are about creating capacity to help us meet demand in the future,” said the company spokesperson.