Nabisco Has Begun Moving Its Factories to Mexico
Does this mean we’ll be getting Oreos made with real cane sugar?
It looks like Nabisco, creators of Oreo and other childhood obsessions ahem, Chips Ahoy is seriously considering a potentially permanent move south of the border: Last month it announced that half of its 1,200 employees at its Chicago Southwest Side branch would be laid off in the coming year in order to transfer funding to its newest factory in Salinas, Mexico.
The Chicago Tribune reports that the company opted out of a $130 million dollar upgrade for the factory, and is instead investing that same money in a state-of-the-art production system in Salinas called “Lines of the Future.” These lines will replace the, “9 inefficient manufacturing lines at its Chicago biscuit plant,” and that the company has no plans of totally abandoning the U.S. plant entirely, according to a Nabisco parent company Mondelez International press release.
The Chicago plant was founded in the 1950s and is the largest bakery in the world. Despite union representative protests, it didn’t receive the designated $130 million upgrade, however Mondelez International, has stated that it does intend to improve the production technology of Chicago’s seven remaining lines with an unspecified amount of funding, so there’s still hope for the workers who didn’t lose their jobs.
This isn’t the first time Nabisco has cut production in the U.S: Earlier this year its Philadelphia plant was completely shut down in order to expand facilities in New Jersey and Virginia. However, according to the Northeast Times, many union officials believe the company truly intends to outsource all production to Mexico, and $130 million conveys nothing if not commitment.
If Nabisco does move to Mexico, what will that mean for our beloved snacks? Is an Oreo really an America’s Favorite Cookie if it’s not baked within the confines of the U.S. border? Unless we get Oreos made with real cane sugar a la Mexican Coke, nothing is likely to change flavor wise, but the loss of jobs may greatly affect the our workforce. Between the closing of the Philadelphia factory and the loss of jobs in Chicago, well over 1,000 people have already lost their jobs. If factories continue shutting down in the same rapid fashion, that number is likely to triple in the next few years.
However, with no official announcements from Mondelez International, it’ll probably be a while before the full move is a reality. So there’s still time to wrap your American-baked Oreos in bacon, guilt-free well, kind of.