Phileas Fogg snacks factories face closure

Sites at Consett and Corby look set to close early next year with the loss of nearly 200 jobs

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The Independent Online

The prosaic Durham home of the Phileas Fogg snacks made famous by the Monty Python-inspired 1980s advertising campaign - Medomsley Road, Consett - is faced with closure.

Phileas Fogg was the first tortilla crisp to be introduced to the UK market before the arrival of Doritos - enjoying commercial success with the help of a series of exotic adverts which finished with the address of the factory where they were made.

But now Consett looks set for closure early next year with the loss of 103 jobs, with production of the crisps likely to be moved to Teeside by parent company KP Snacks. A second site at Corby, where KP makes Pom-Bear crisps, is also likely to be closed with the loss of up to 83 jobs. KP, the company behind other brands such as Hula-Hoops and McCoys owned by privately owned German firm Intersnack, currently has around 1,800 staff in the UK.

Chief executive Nick Bunker said the under-capacity at Consett was “unsustainable”.

He added: “Regrettably, in order to develop a sustainable and competitive manufacturing operation, we are proposing to close the sites and to transfer the production to other sites in our network. We operate in an increasingly competitive market and need to focus on our cost base in order to develop a sustainable business.”