Friday, January 6, 2012

Alert Jim Gaffigan: Hot Pockets Factory Laying Off Over 100 Employees

Hot Pockets are some vile, nasty stuff. How anyone can eat them is beyond me (okay, I'll admit I used to indulge from time to time back when I was a bachelor living on a limited budget). Still, people do, and you hate to see anyone getting laid off in this economy. Here is the San Fernando Valley Business Journal with all the greasy details:
Nestlé USA plans to layoff 103 Chatsworth employees of its Prepared Foods Division, effective Feb. 1.

The Chatsworth facility specializes in the manufacturing of the popular frozen packaged meal brand, Hot Pockets, and currently employs 645 workers.

Roz O’Hearn, spokesperson for Nestlé Prepared Foods, said the layoffs are a result of the decrease in demand in the frozen food market and the company’s attempt to retain its competitive advantage.

“The economy has affected the frozen food business,” O’Hearn said. “The prices of ingredients have increased and there’s a change in consumer demand.”

At meetings in December, the company shared with employees its plans to cut the manufacturing facility’s production schedule from six days of operation to four. The schedule changes eliminated the need for the current number of employees, O’Hearn said.

A year ago, Nestlé’s Nutrition announced the closing of its plant in Minnesota, cutting nearly 250 jobs in a span of two years.
Note the real problem here: high production costs from rising agricultural prices, which is also affecting sales on the other end (which good little corporate flack Roz O'Hearn euphemistically describes as "a change in consumer demand") as the consumers of Hot Pockets tend to be on the lower end of the income scale.

Bonus: "I got an about we fill a pop tart with nasty meat?"


  1. Well, I love TDS because I am always learning new things. Of course, that video IS kinda reminiscent of the Monty Python spam thing but anyway...I don't have teevee so honestly I never saw an ad for Hot Pockets before, let alone ate one or even heard of them.

    However, I did live in a trailer about 15 years ago - when our house was being built AND the (corrupt, sleazy) contracter went bankrupt before the foundation was finished - so I spent over one wet dark cold year with my children, looking hopelessly at what appeared to be, over on the other side of a rat-infested abandoned construction dumpster, a u-shaped concrete block skanky swimming pool complete with frogs.

    Anyway, when we first moved into the (supposedly temporary 3-month building period) 52' trailer, the kids were all excited because FINALLY they were going to be allowed to watch a teevee AND eat any frozen dinners they wanted to pick out at the grocery store! (they got the teevee since there was no room to play, and the frozen dinners since cooking anything was virtually impossible with a sink about 10x12").

    That lasted around a week, and then the sight of "prepared food" made them want to puke.

    1. Who are you?!?!?!?! This is one of the weirdest replies to a blog post I have ever read

  2. @Gail - sound like your kids have been raised right! :)

  3. Ha ha. I'd never heard of hot pockets before, either. A couple years ago my college-aged son wanted to show me the Gaffigan video, but first he had to show me (online) what these things were to put it into context. (One of our neighbors called us "The Waltons" once).

    Bill, we're hearing more and more of these stories that leave feeling ambivalent: People losing their livelihoods in businesses we'd be better off without.