Pepperidge Farm to Drop Southland Bread

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Campbell Soup Co., which is selling or closing many of its operations under a restructuring program, has decided to discontinue distribution of Pepperidge Farm breads and rolls in Southern California by Sept. 1.

Pepperidge Farm Inc., a Campbell subsidiary, began to distribute breads and rolls in Southern California in 1973 as part of a bid for larger shares of Western markets. However, the company has been unable to register the sales Campbell needed to maintain operations, said Ann Davin, a Pepperidge Farm spokeswoman.

Davin said Pepperidge Farm will continue to make other products--cookies, crackers, snacks and frozen foods--available in the Southland. The company also plans to maintain distribution of its stuffing and crouton products in Southern California. Based in Norwalk, Conn., Pepperidge Farm has had its locally distributed bread and rolls produced by an independent bakery on a contract basis. Pepperidge Farm employs a staff of 10 in Southern California--all involved in sales-related operations--and will offer those workers severance packages, Davin said. Pepperidge Farm did not sell bread and rolls in Northern California. It will continue to distribute bread and rolls in 45 other states.

The partial retreat from Southern California was the latest move in a consolidation plan designed to eliminate Campbell's least profitable operations. To shift more resources to its core soup and frozen food business, Campbell last month put its Fresh Foods Group up for sale. That division includes mushroom farms, the Marie's brand salad dressing line, a refrigerated salad business and poultry- and salmon-processing operations.

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