Kraft Foods has decided to close its chocolate factory in Romania by the end of next year, a move that will lead to the loss of 440 jobs.

The US food giant told just-food today (13 November) that it had decided to shut the facility in the city of Brasov because it could not expand at the site's location.

A spokesperson for Kraft in Romania said the company had seen "strong growth" in Romania in recent years and needed extra capacity, which the Brasov plant could not provide.

Kraft, the spokesperson said, remained committed to the country, where it leads the chocolate market. According to the spokesperson, Kraft has seen its chocolate sales jump 30% in Romania during the first ten months of the year.

"The transfer of production will not affect Kraft's commitment to further develop its Romanian business," the spokesperson said. "We studied production capabilities across our plants and identified opportunities to consolidate facilities more effectively so as to provide the scale necessary to support future growth."

Kraft plans to switch production from Brasov to other facilities, "primarily" in Bulgaria, the spokesperson said. The Brasov site produces a range of chocolate, including tablets, pralines and countlines.