ORRVILLE, Ohio — The J.M. Smucker Company, an Orrville, Ohio-based manufacturer of jams, syrups, beverages and other products, confirmed that employees in North America will be laid off as a result of a reshaping of their brand portfolio to address rapid shifts in consumer behavior due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Consumer behavior has evolved rapidly in recent years,” said Ray Hancart, the company’s communications and media relations director, in an email. “However, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused an even greater acceleration of change.”
These changes include reshaping the company’s brand portfolio, investing in growing areas of the business, and streamlining their structure, Hancart said.
“The adjustments to our structure unfortunately will result in North American employees leaving our Company,” Hancart said. “Since conversations are ongoing with employees, we will not be sharing any more details. Decisions that negatively impact any of our employees are always difficult to make and are only made after careful consideration.”
These employees will receive severance support, Hancart said.
The J.M. Smucker Company currently employs over 7,000 people at its headquarters in Orrville and over 30 manufacturing facilities and offices across North America.
In November 2020, the company reported a net sales increase of 4%, or $76.2 million, in the second quarter of its 2021 fiscal year, which ended Oct. 31, 2020.
"In the second quarter, we focused on meeting the demands created by the current environment, while continuing to execute our long-term strategy to deliver sustainable growth," said Mark Smucker, President and Chief Executive Officer, in a November news release to shareholders. "Our U.S. Retail Consumer Foods and U.S. Retail Coffee businesses experienced strong sales momentum from elevated at-home consumption trends and grew market share. I want to thank our employees for their ongoing hard work and dedication to provide our customers, consumers, and their pets with a steady food supply from trusted and iconic brands."
The company is scheduled to hold its third-quarter earnings conference call on Thursday.