Haut-Rhin: Freedent Chewing Gum Cuts 280 Jobs

The French subsidiary of the American group Mars Wrigley announced on Monday the imminent elimination of 280 jobs out of the 350 in its chewing gum factory in Biesheim.

The French subsidiary of the American group Mars Wrigley will soon cut 280 jobs out of the 350 in its Biesheim chewing gum factory. Reason given: The fall in sales. “Faced with a drastic and continuous drop in demand for chewing gum in tablet formats on European markets, the management of the Mars Wrigley site in Biesheim has informed its social partners and employees of a restructuring plan,” announced Mars Wrigley France in a press release.

This restructuring results in the “elimination of 280 positions” and the “maintenance of 69 positions”, according to the press release. This project will result in the cessation, within a year, of the production of tablets, marketed under the Freedent brand. The production of gums will be maintained to supply other factories of the group in Europe and Africa.

A 74% drop in volumes
Tablets, the traditional format of chewing gum, “are literally disappearing from the European market”, where sales fell by 37% between 2016 and 2019, aggravated since by the health crisis, continued the group. The volumes produced at the Biesheim plant fell 74% between 2012 and 2020, and the plant was only operating at 28% capacity last year, according to a spokesperson. The site still employed 639 employees in 2013, just before a previous social plan which had cut 207 jobs.

A job protection plan (PSE) will be implemented to find reclassification solutions internal and external to the group, the group added.