Israeli home carbonation drinks manufacturer SodaStream is laying 300 employees out of its total work force of 3,200, due to reduced demand, the company has said. Most of the layoffs be of production workers based at the Rahat plan in the Negev, from where products are exported worldwide. The layoffs will be a major blow to the job market in the region.
During the Covid crisis consumption of SodaStream products, including its soda syphons to carbonate home drinks, rose strongly and the company hired workers to meet the growing demand.
SodaStream was acquired by PepsiCo in 2018 for $3.2 billion. PepsiCo's food and beverage division, which includes SodaStream, reported revenue of $70 billion in 2020, up 5% from the previous year.
SodaStream said, "With the outbreak of the Covid pandemic, and following the lockdown and the higher number of people at home, there was a rise in demand for household goods in 2020 including for SodaStream devices. In line with this, the company increased its production capabilities despite the global challenges that it was forced to cope with during the pandemic. As the pandemic continued, the level of demand for household products returned to its previous levels.
"After a deep examination, a painful decision was taken to cut the number of employees and adapt it to the new business reality. It should be stressed that even at the peak of the Covid pandemic, the company strove to protect the jobs of thousands of employees and hire those laid off by other factories and awarded all production workers in the company bonuses for their contribution.
"The employees who are leaving will receive support and assistance through a special career center that will be set up. SodaStream will continue to develop the company's factory in Israel, which serves as a symbol worldwide of success, coexistence, and tolerance.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on October 26, 2021.
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