The family-owned company will keep its headquarters in the borough, where Sweet’N Low was first created, but all other operations will cease over the course of the year and move to other parts of the country, reports the Associated Press.
It’s not cheap to manufacture goods in New York City, what with competition from cheaper parts of the world, the high costs of labor, and the price of real estate in the city.
Sweet’N Low’s founder, Benjamin Eisenstadt, used to work at a company that filled teabags in the late 1940s, which gave him the idea to put sugar into individual packets. He didn’t patent the idea, however, and other sugar companies went with it. In 1957, he and his son developed a low-calorie sugar substitute using saccharin and called it Sweet’N Low, making it at their Brooklyn plant.
The company CEO –and grandson of Benjamin Eisenstadt — says the decision to move all packing and manufacturing out of Brooklyn is one “that we’ve been holding off for decades” out of commitment to employees, though Sweet’N Low has used other packing companies for at least some of its production since the early 1980s.
“As much as we would like the ‘Made in Brooklyn’ aspect to be meaningful, it doesn’t seem to necessarily have the same resonance in other parts of the country as it would around here,” Steven Eisenstadt told the AP. “There are other aspects where it’s just about how competitive are you compared to others.”
It’s unclear what will happen to the 300 employees working at the factory, though he says the company is committed to helping them find new jobs and is talking to their union about it.
Sweet’N Low to end Brooklyn production after nearly 60 years [Associated Press]