Oscar Mayer headquarters coming to Chicago

SHARE Oscar Mayer headquarters coming to Chicago

The headquarters of Oscar Mayer will move to Chicago in 2016.

Parent company Kraft Heinz on Wednesday announced the move from Madison, Wisconsin, along with plans to close seven production plants in North America.

The headquarters move will bring about 250 jobs to Chicago. Kraft Heinz already has announced plans to move its Northfield offices, the former Kraft Foods headquarters, to downtown Chicago.

“The move centralizes all our U.S. Business Units to our co-headquarters of Chicago and Pittsburgh, which will drive increased collaboration and efficiency,” company spokesman Michael Mullen said of moving Oscar Mayer’s headquarters.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel hailed the move.

“I’m proud that we are adding Oscar Mayer to the growing list of global corporations from Kraft Heinz to ConAgra to Motorola Solutions who are choosing to make their home in Chicago,” the mayor said in a statement.

“Oscar Mayer’s decision to return to Chicago is a reflection of the talent of our workforce, the strength of our world-class transportation networks, and the certainty and confidence we have given businesses that invest in our city.”

The plant closures will be carried out over the next two years.

“Our decision to consolidate manufacturing across the Kraft Heinz North American network is a critical step in our plan to eliminate excess capacity and reduce operational redundancies for the new combined company,” Mullen said. “This will make Kraft Heinz more globally competitive and accelerate the company’s future growth.”

The closures will eliminate about 2,600 jobs, the company estimated.

The affected plants are in Fullerton and San Leandro, California; Federalsburg, Maryland; St. Marys, Ontario, Canada; Campbell, New York; Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania; and Madison.

Kraft Heinz also will move production from its existing Davenport, Iowa, plant to a new factory in the Quad Cities area, and move some cheese production from a downstate Champaign plant to other factories. The Champaign factory will become a center for dry and sauce production.

Kraft Heinz was formed in the merger of Kraft and Heinz this year. The new company, co-headquartered in Chicago and Pittsburgh, announced in August that 2,500 non-factory jobs would be cut after the merger.

Contributing: The Associated Press

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