Germany’s Dr. Oetker announced Tuesday it will close its pizza manufacturing plant in Grand Falls, N.B. at the end of May, eliminating 180 jobs

The company will move 70 per cent of its production to its facility in London, Ont., and the remaining 30 per cent to its Lodi, New Jersey plant.  

Dr. Oetker is citing the increasingly competitive food manufacturing market as a reason for the closure.

"There is nothing our Grand Falls employees could have done differently,” Dr. Oetker executive VP Cécile Van Zandijcke said in a statement.

“Food manufacturers have been facing severe economic pressures over the last few years and today's market has become ultra-competitive. In order for Dr. Oetker to continue operating efficiently within this challenging environment, we needed to restructure our Canadian Manufacturing Operation."

Employees at the plant will continue receiving medical and dental benefits until the end of 2018, and will get a severance package on top of employment counseling and resume support.

"We care deeply about the people on our Grand Falls team and we will sit down individually with them to discuss their own specific path forward," Van Zandijcke said. "That will be our immediate focus now."

The company will also establish a $4-million “community fund” to help with economic development and job retention as a result of the plant’s closure.  

Dr. Oetker produces a variety of dessert mixes and baking ingredients and frozen pizzas under several different brands.

-- With files from the Canadian Press