General Mills says that it will be closing two of its manufacturing plants in Methuen, MA and Lodi, CA next year as part of its previously announced consolidation plan. By doing away with unused production capacity and consolidating its food manufacturing infrastructure, General Mills is hoping to save $100 million annually by 2017.
According to the Wall Street Journal, this initiative was born out of the need to offset the slowing U.S. consumer demand for the cereal, cake mix, and packed food products General Mills manufactures. Industry sales for cereal products were down 4% in the most recent fiscal quarter, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Yogurt sales are continuing to be a bright point. Sales for the dairy item have been fueled by increasing consumer demand for Greek yogurt varieties. This trend has been significant enough to prompt General Mills to announce that it will be expanding its capacity for the production of its Yoplait Greek and Fiber One granola bar brand lines in the future.
For now however, General Mills is focused on properly executing these immediate plant closures and successfully integrating their operations into other aspects of the business. The Methuen plant, which manufactures Yoplait yogurt, is set to be closed by late summer in 2015, according to a press release. The Lodi Facility is set to close in late 2015, subject to negotiations with union officials.
Stay tuned to DeliMarket TV for more updates on the future operations of General Mills.