SodaStream Lays Off 300 in Post-Pandemic Cutback

YERUSHALAYIM -
The SodaStream factory in Israel’s Negev desert near the Bedouin city of Rahat. (Hillel Maeir/Flash90)

The Israel-based SodaStream company announced it is laying off 300 people from its work force of 3,200, Globes reported on Tuesday.

The home carbonation drinks manufacturer explained that the decision reflects the downturn in demand for its product, which had gone up during the pandemic, and production had been increased accordingly.

The hardest-hit area will be the Rahat plant in the Negev, where the local economy is largely dependent on it.

“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,” the company said in a statement.

“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 company promised “support and assistance through a special career center” to the workers who will be losing their jobs.

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.