Dreyer’s puts 1,000 local jobs on ice, temporarily

Employees will stay home for a few weeks as Dreyer’s global parent company installs new software at facilities in Tulare and Bakersfield

TULARE – Dreyer’s ice cream plants in the South Valley will be putting a thousand jobs on ice, but only for a few weeks.

A spokesperson for the company confirmed that 300 workers at its Tulare plant and about 700 at its Bakersfield facility will stay at home, officially a temporary layoff, toward the end of November and return to work in early December. The company said it is taking advantage of the slowest time of the year to install new software to integrate with its parent company, United Kingdom-based Froneri.

“Over the past two years we have been investing heavily to optimize our operations, and focus on growing our ice cream business and driving growth of the category,” said the spokesperson, who requested their name not be used for this article. “As part of this plan for growth, we have been installing new production lines, adding jobs.”

The Tulare facility, located at 970 E. Continental Ave., will also get a new warehouse according to construction plans submitted to the city. The 69,000-square foot addition to the manufacturing facility will expand existing warehouse storage space for dry and frozen goods, a new raw goods receiving area, warehouse receiving/logistics offices and trailer docks for Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream, Inc. In addition to the Dreyer’s brand, the Tulare plant also makes Häagen-Daaz products.

Dreyer’s brand was purchased by Froneri in 2020 as part of a package deal for all of Nestlé’s USA ice cream business, which included other well-known brands Häagen-Daaz, Outshine, Skinny Cow, Edy’s, Nestlé Ice Cream and Drumstick. The acquisition of Nestlé USA’s ice cream business, the 2nd largest ice cream manufacturer in the USA, propelled Froneri to become the 2nd largest manufacturer globally and marks its first entry into the US ice cream market, the largest market in the world with a value of more than $10bn per annum. This significantly expanded Froneri’s global presence, gave them more access to the profitable USA market, and built on its existing partnership with Nestlé and PAI Partners formed in 2016. 

The acquisition brought with it more than 2,300 people across the USA and sales of $1.8 billion in 2018. The US ice cream market has grown more than 4% in value driven by snacking, super premium, and pricing. Froneri has increased its share of the market by 1.2% through June 2022 due to investment in production, marketing and quality, and the strength of its A-Brands portfolio, including the launch of Mondelēz this year. Dreyer’s still employs more than 2,400 people and its integration into Froneri is ongoing. According to Froneri’s Mid-Year Update released on Sept. 29, transition of the USA onto Froneri systems should be completed before the end of the year.

“Integration of the US business is progressing with significant investment in the factories, product innovation, and marketing investment delivering good sales and market share gains,” the report stated.

Froneri’s purchase of Nestlé USA came on the heels of the company’s acquisition of Tip Top Ice Cream in New Zealand in May 2019, and Noga Ice Creams in Israel in July 2019, which gave the Company entry to those markets for the first time.

Froneri is now the second largest manufacturer of ice cream and the number one private label producer worldwide. The company operates in 23 countries with annual revenue of over four billion Euros and over 12,000 employees worldwide, according to www.froneri.com.

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