- Diageo plans to close its production plant near Baltimore by June, with 97 people expected to be laid off. The Guinness maker said its adjacent taproom and restaurant will remain open. Overall, the complex currently employs around 200 people.
- Diageo said it made “the difficult decision” after analyzing its “supply footprint.” “In order to ensure long term sustainable growth for Diageo, we are optimizing our existing operations across North America to meet evolving consumer preferences,” the company said in a statement.
- Diageo opened the plant in 2018, the company’s first new brewing operation in the U.S. since 1954. The closure is the latest move by food and beverage companies to streamline operations.
As food and beverage CPG companies deal with inflation and ongoing supply chain challenges, they are aggressively looking for ways to cut expenses and boost margins. Diageo, the maker of Johnnie Walker, Baileys and Smirnoff, is no exception.
When the facility opened, Diageo said the Guinness facility gave it a deeper foothold in the U.S and made it more agile in developing, testing and marketing its beers directly to the American consumer. With this closure, the alcohol maker is prioritizing boosting efficiencies throughout its network.
“We do not take these decisions lightly and recognize the impact on our employees,” Diageo said in a statement.
The facility is best known for making Baltimore Blonde, which the company will continue to brew in other facilities.
Several other businesses in the U.S. have announced layoffs and closures of various facilities, joining the broader trend taking place in other business sectors across the country.
Tyson Foods announced last month it will close its poultry processing, broiler and hatching operations in Glen Allen, Virginia and Van Buren, Arkansas, which will result in the loss of roughly 1,700 workers.
Spice and flavorings maker McCormick & Co. also has said this year it is cutting jobs as part of its efforts to save $75 million in 2023. And Coca-Cola announced in November it’s planning to restructure its North American workforce through a “voluntary separation program” that will include employee buyouts.