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Jelly Belly

Jelly Belly’s North Chicago plant to focus on private-label candies, will no longer make Jelly Belly jelly beans

Move eliminates 66 jobs, transfers branded candy production to main plant in Fairfield, Calif.

August 13, 2014
Jelly Belly California
Jelly Belly Candy Co.’s headquarters facility in Fairfield, Calif., west entrance.

As part of a strategic realignment of its U.S. domestic business, the Jelly Belly Candy Co. will transfer all branded confectionery manufacturing from its North Chicago, Ill. -based plant to its main production facility in Fairfield, Calif.

The move will result in the loss of 66 jobs, although the company says the North Chicago plant will continue to operate producing private-label and contracted confections.

"Eliminating positions is a difficult decision to make,” says Bob Simpson, the company’s president and coo.  “This move to private-label manufacturing is a forward thinking step for the best deployment of the Illinois facility and the company overall.”

And, according to the company, “The decision to consolidate U.S. manufacturing of branded Jelly Belly candy products in California was evaluated over quite some time and with considerable deliberation for all possible options. The synergies of consolidating operations and manufacturing will help the company position the business for growth and opportunity. By realigning for long-term business development, the company is targeting growth potential in private-label and contract production services.”

Layoffs will begin Aug. 31 and continued through 17, a Chicago Sun-Times article reported. The company filed notice with the state on July 2. Workers whose positions are eliminated will receive outplacement services to help transition to new employment and will be invited to explore transfer opportunities at other locations in the company.

Jelly Belly Candy Co., formerly known as Goelitz Confectionery Co., has been making candy at the North Chicago location for a century. First built in 1913, the North Chicago plant celebrated 100 years of candy making last year. In addition to manufacturing Jelly Belly jelly beans, the company also turned out chocolate malt balls and candy corn. 

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