THE company behind Fox’s Glacier Mints has revealed merger plans that could see its Leicester factory shut down and 200 staff axed.
Big Bear Confectionery, which also makes Just Brazils and XXX Mints, told staff yesterday of plans to close its factory as the company is merged into Tangerine Confectionery, the maker of Dip Dab, Sherbet Fountain and Flumps.
The merger would create a combined UK head office in Pontefract and Blackpool.
A spokesperson for Big Bear and Tangerine Confectionery said employees and trade unions have been informed, but it could not confirm how many jobs will be at risk.
However, the company employs 200 people at its Leicester factory.
The confectionery companies has begun a consultation process on the changes, which will last until the end of April.
Both companies are owned by Ireland’s Valeo Foods, which acquired Big Bear in 2017 and Tangerine last year.
A spokesperson told The Sun: “The proposals being discussed with our employees will create a combined UK confectionery business that will be better positioned to deliver future sustainable growth in what is a very competitive UK confectionery market.
“Our immediate priority is the welfare of those employees who may be impacted by the proposals and we are committed to do everything we can to support our colleagues through the consultation period and beyond.
“We can’t currently confirm how many jobs will be at risk. We will be in a position to update staff on this at the end of March.”
Alex Fraser from the union USDAW, said: “This is devastating news for the staff who are obviously very upset.
“It would also be a blow for Leicester to lose the iconic Fox’s Glacier Mints brand.”
He said the union would “enter into meaningful consultation talks with the company” and provide members with support and advice.
Fox’s Confectionery was founded by Walter Fox in Leicester in 1880, and the clear boiled peppermints were invented in 1918 and soon branded Fox’s Glacier Mints.
Today it was also revealed that Gap is closing more than 200 stores worldwide amid plunging sales in a bid to save the chain.
Brutal conditions saw 150,000 job cuts on the high street last year, and even more losses are on the horizon for this year.
In fact, almost 20,000 jobs have been lost or put at risk on Britain’s high streets since Christmas.