Hope on the horizon: Bakery, snack companies hiring workers displaced by coronavirus

By Gill Hyslop contact

- Last updated on GMT

Numerous companies across the bakery and snacks industries are looking for additional staff. Pic: zakokor
Numerous companies across the bakery and snacks industries are looking for additional staff. Pic: zakokor

Related tags: American bakers association, coronavirus, Mondelez International, Pepsico, Bimbo bakeries usa, Flowers foods, Hearthside Food Solutions, Weston Foods, Nielsen

The North American bakery and snacks industries are hiring more workers to keep up with demand as consumers stockpile comfort foods like bread and snacks to get them through the coronavirus outbreak.

According to Nielsen data, the salty snacks category has seen a close on 15% gain year-on-year, with popcorn sales soaring by 48%, followed by pretzels (47%) and potato chips (30%).

Americans are also satisfying their sweet tooth with cookie variety packs selling 20% more year-on-year, according to Statista.

Mondelez International also confirmed a spike in purchases of its Oreo cookies and belVita breakfast biscuits since the run on groceries began. In fact, the confectionery and snack giant is hiring an additional 1,000 employees in the US to keep up with the increased demand for its products.

It is especially encouraging individuals who have been displaced by the closing of other businesses to apply.

The company is also giving 10,000 of its ‘frontline’ workers in manufacturing, distribution and sales workforce a temporary pay rise, to be paid in a lump sum on May 2.

PepsiCo is also hiring an additional 6,000 workers over the 'coming months' to meet demand. The company also announced a compensation package for more than 90,000 of its staff based in North America. 

Bread of life

The North American bakery industry is also upping the ante to answer demand for bread.

According to the American Bakers Association (ABA), its members are looking to hire more than 3,000 permanent and temporary employees immediately.

A survey found its members have invited applications for a variety of both hourly and salaried positions across the country, including maintenance mechanics, drivers, production line operators, production supervisors, quality assurance technicians, route sales professionals, and general labour.

ABA members - including Bimbo Bakeries USA, Flowers Foods, Hearthside Food Solutions and Weston Foods, among others - have over 600 temporary positions and over 2,400 permanent positions available​ across the US.

“The wholesale baking industry can provide relief for those individuals who now are missing a paycheck; we are proud to offer a safe work environment in an industry that is supporting American families during these uncertain times,”​ said Robb MacKie, president & CEO of the ABA.

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