The closing of a popcorn-bag printing press at ConAgra Foods in Minnesota is partly due to a decline in popcorn sales, a company spokesman says.
ConAgra Foods, Omaha, Neb., plans to close a printing press at a plant East of Marion in August, laying off 37 of its 233 employees at that plant.
The company says it will transfer the popcorn-bag printing to its facility in Maple Grove, Minn., but will continue to produceOrville RedenbacherandACT II microwave popcorn at the Marion site, says Dave Jackson, a ConAgra spokesman.
"Our popcorn sales overall are declining," Jackson says. "We're looking for opportunities to consolidate pieces of the operation. We have a new microwave product pop-up bowl, and all of that printing is done in Maple Grove, Minn., and they have the only press to run it."
Overall popcorn sales have dropped off for the company, but the sales of the pop-up bowl have increased, which led ConAgra to determine that the "best decision" was to consolidate in Maple Grove, Minn., Jackson says. "It's hard to do because Marion is such a well-performing plant," he says, adding that the consolidation as "just an economic decision."