NEW YORK (AP) — General Mills says that it has tentatively decided to close an Illinois plant over the next few years, but will consult first with the union that represents the facility.
The food maker is looking to get rid of excess cereal and dry dinner capacity as part of its ongoing effort to meet consumers' changing tastes.
Big packaged food makers have been stung by shoppers' interest in foods they see as healthier or more natural. Cereal sales also have suffered because of the popularity of gluten-free or high-protein diets.
General Mills said in a regulatory filing Thursday that if the facility is closed, it may impact about 500 jobs. The company plans negotiations and consultation with the union that represents workers at the West Chicago, Illinois, facility, before closing it.
General Mills Inc. — which makes Cheerios cereal, Yoplait yogurt and other packaged foods — anticipates taking about $70 million in charges in fiscal 2016 related to the planned action. It expects the plant to be closed by the end of fiscal 2019, with a total cost of about $120 million.
General Mills is also closing a snacks manufacturing plant in Joplin, Missouri. The move will result in the loss of about 120 jobs. The company expects about $11 million in charges in fiscal 2016 tied to the action. The closing is targeted to be completed by fiscal 2018's end. The total cost is expected to be approximately $12 million.
The company's stock added 20 cents to $57.01 in morning trading Thursday.