WALNUT CREEK, CALIF. — Del Monte Foods is closing several facilities located throughout the United States. Production will cease at the company’s Sleepy Eye, Minn., and Mendota, Ill., plants at the end of the current packing season. The company also plans to sell its Cambria, Wis., facility, as well as its manufacturing assets in Crystal City, Texas.
Production at the locations will transition to other Del Monte facilities in the United States.
Parent company Del Monte Pacific Ltd., Manila, Philippines, said the restructuring is part of the company’s move to an “asset-light strategy.”
“This decision has been difficult and has come after careful consideration,” said Joselito D. Campos Jr., managing director and chief executive officer at Del Monte Pacific Ltd. “This restructuring is a necessary step for us to remain competitive in a rapidly changing marketplace. Our asset-light strategy will lead to more efficient and lower-cost operations.”
The company has taken a hit from declining sales in the packaged fruit and vegetable categories in recent years. The newly announced closings join a list of shuttered facilities stretching back several years. Last year, Del Monte closed plants in North Carolina, Indiana and California.
Approximately 31 salaried and 106 regularly hourly workers are employed at the Mendota facility, with a peak seasonal headcount of 550 employees. The Sleepy Eye facility is home to 22 salaried and 50 hourly employees, and as many as 400 employees during the processing season. Crystal City has 90 full-time hourly, 19 salaried and 300 seasonal employees, according to the company.
Del Monte Foods, Inc. is the U.S. subsidiary of Del Monte Pacific Ltd. and manufactures products under the Del Monte, Fruit Naturals, Orchard Select, SunFresh, Fruit Refreshers, S&W, Contadina and College Inn brands. Including the facilities affected by the announcement, Del Monte Foods operates 10 plants in the United States and 2 plants in Mexico.
The company has diversified beyond the canned produce aisle and earlier this year introduced refrigerated produce and frozen products. New launches include Del Monte Citrus Bowls, Del Monte Fruit Crunch Parfaits and Del Monte Veggieful Bites.