Austin Packaging Co. Lays Off Half Its Staff
Austin Packaging Company (APC) is poised to cut its personnel in half, letting go of about 125 employees from its 250-person work force. According to Jeff Thatcher, APC’s co-owner, APC management notified employees last week that it would eliminate the frozen pizza manufacturing sector of its business, effective April 5.
APC contract manufactures and packages shelf-stable, refrigerated, and frozen food products and has been in operation since 1998.
The company currently occupies warehouses in Austin and Lakeville. After the staff reductions, it will move everything to its main Austin location.
For the small town of Austin, the layoffs will deliver quite a blow. At 250 employees, APC was the ninth largest employer in Austin and Mower County and will drop to 19th after the reductions are made.
The layoffs will come at every level of employment, from line workers to managers. The downsizing is a result of the steep decline in customer demand within the frozen pizza industry. According to Thatcher, the sudden popularity of “take and bake” pizza businesses have made it difficult for frozen pizza brands to compete.
After the frozen pizza manufacturing ceases, APC will continue to manufacture portion-control liquid containers of products like cheese sauces, salad dressings, and fruit toppings. It will also continue to offer versatile packaging in flexible pouches, bowls, cups, and trays.