By Joshua Burd
Gerber Products Co. will exit New Jersey next year as it moves its U.S. corporate headquarters from Florham Park to northern Virginia, the baby food company announced Monday.
In a news release, the manufacturer said it would join Nestlé USA, its sister company, at 1812 North Moore St. in Rosslyn, Virginia. The move will begin in January and is expected to shift more than 150 jobs out of the Garden State.
Gerber currently occupies 12 Vreeland Road in Florham Park, which houses corporate functions such as marketing, finance and human resources, among others. Details of its lease at the property were not immediately available late Monday.
“Keeping pace with the rapid changes in how consumers eat, shop and engage with brands, we have been assessing our business so that we become more agile, efficient and innovative in an increasingly competitive marketplace,” said Bill Partyka, CEO and president of Gerber. “Closer proximity to Nestlé USA’s new headquarters will provide efficiencies that will be reinvested in our people, products and production to fuel growth.”
The location in Virginia’s Arlington County is home to Nestlé USA’s corporate functions and its beverage, baking and global foods divisions, along with its expanding e-business team and Center for Marketing Excellence. Nearly all Florham Park-based employees will be offered relocation, the company said, adding that it will provide severance and outplacement support for any employee that does not elect to move to Arlington.
“We are committed to supporting all of our employees through this process,” Partyka said. “Employees are receiving advance notification to allow them to plan for relocation. The transition will be executed over more than a year-long period which is expected to minimize any disruptions to our colleagues and the Gerber businesses.”
Nestlé now occupies more than 250,000 square feet in Arlington County after relocating there last year from Southern California, according to Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam. He said the Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with Arlington County Economic Development to secure the Gerber project, approving a $862,500 grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund to help lure the iconic company.