Blue Bunny maker cuts 58 jobs

2013-11-13T08:00:00Z 2014-09-03T13:03:13Z Blue Bunny maker cuts 58 jobsDAVE DREESZEN ddreeszen@siouxcityjournal.com Sioux City Journal

LE MARS, Iowa | The maker of Blue Bunny ice cream is eliminating 58 jobs as part of a company-wide restructuring the Le Mars, Iowa-based company says is needed to support its future growth plans.

Wells Enterprises, now a No. 3 in the highly competitive U.S. ice cream sector, is aiming for the top spot by 2020.

"To achieve the goal in the midst of a challenging economic environment requires that we constantly review our business strategy and cost structure and make adjustments, if necessary, to sustain our sound financial platform and prospects for future success," said spokesman Dave Smetter, in a statement. 

After a recent comprehensive review of its structure, Wells decided to cut 38 positions at its corporate offices in Le Mars, and 20 field staff jobs, Smetter said.

The displaced employees will receive severance packages and outplacement assistance, he said.

Wells employs about 2,500, the majority in Le Mars, where the company also has two ice cream and frozen novelties plants and a large freezer and warehouse. A third plant is in St. George, Utah.

The family-owned and -operated company earlier this year raised additional capital to support growth plans, which will include expanding into new territories, introducing new products and boosting advertising.

To dethrone the two dominant industry leaders, Nestle and Unilever, Wells will need to increase annual revenues from about $1 billion to around $2.2 billion.

Wells is celebrating its 100th anniversary. In September, the company held a birthday party for employees at the Tyson Events Center.

Copyright 2015 Sioux City Journal. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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