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Report: Kimberly-Clark to cut 1,600 jobs

BY DSN STAFF

CHICAGO Kimberly-Clark said on Thursday that it would cut about 1,600 salaried jobs, or roughly 3% of its workforce, as it tries to trim costs and respond faster to rivals and store brands.

The latest move comes four years after the maker of Kleenex tissues kicked off a three-and-a-half year cost-cutting plan that included slashing about 6,000 jobs and closing about 20 manufacturing plants.

The plan announced on Thursday does not include closing any facilities. Kimberly-Clark had said in April that it expected to cut jobs in the second and third quarters as it tries to squeeze more costs out of the organization.

Its household products, such as Kleenex and Huggies diapers, have faced stiff competition from lower-cost store brands sold by such retailers as Walmart as consumers cut back. At the same time, its K-C Professional division has been pressured because the restaurants and other businesses it serves have been hit hard by the recession.

The move is “likely a necessary step” to allow Kimberly-Clark to invest in such areas as advertising and promotion as it tries to protect its market share, Sanford Bernstein analyst Ali Dibadj said.

Procter & Gamble in particular, has stepped up its push to grab cash-strapped consumers with lower-priced versions of Bounty paper towels and Charmin toilet paper, as well as a lower-cost line of diapers, Luvs. Kimberly-Clark competes directly with P&G in those categories.

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Progresso to launch high fiber soup line in fall 2009

BY Anna Mcgrath

MINNEAPOLIS Progresso announced its new line of high fiber ready-to-serve soups available this fall in four varieties.

Fiber has been regarded as the number one ingredient to better overall health ? yet nine-in-10 Americans are not getting the recommended daily value, the company said.

“It’s important for consumers to eat high-fiber foods, as they’ve been shown to support digestive health,” said Michelle Tucker, senior nutrition scientist, General Mills Bell Institute of Health and Nutrition. “With 28% of the recommended daily value of fiber per serving, Progresso High Fiber soups will make it convenient for consumers to get more fiber in their diets while enjoying a wholesome, satisfying meal.”

Progresso’s new high fiber line is part of the Progresso’s brand ongoing focus on healthy innovations and contains no added MSG, no artificial flavors and seven grams of fiber per serving.

KelloggsDRSNhttp://www.centerstoregrowth.com

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Dr Pepper Snapple Group sign franchise with Jack in the Box

BY Anna Mcgrath

PLANO, Texas Dr Pepper Snapple Group and Jack in the Box announced their recent multi-year franchise to allow both Dr Pepper and Diet Dr Pepper to all Jack in the Box restaurants nationwide.

Commencing July, Diet Dr Pepper will be made available to all of the nearly 2,200 Jack in the Box in the United States with national availability expected by year end.

“Dr Pepper is a strong brand that performs well in our system,” said Terri Graham, SVP, chief marketing officer for Jack in the Box. “Jack in the Box has one of the most varied menus in the QSR segment, and with the addition of Diet Dr Pepper, we’re pleased to be able to offer our guests even more beverage options.”

Dr Pepper was created in Waco, Texas, in 1885 and is the oldest major soft drink brand in America and is one of the most popular soft drink, with both Dr Pepper and Diet Dr Pepper among the top 10 carbonated soft drink brands in the United States.

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