German confectioner Storck has confirmed plans to close its Bendicks mint chocolate plant in the UK.

The company, which also owns brands including Werther’s Originals, said today (18 April) that some 84 staff will be affected by the the closure of its facility in Winchester at the end of July. Production will switch to Germany.

Storck attributed the closure to the decline in the mint chocolate market. Storck managing director Thomas Huber said: “This difficult decision has been driven by commercial reality. Despite our best efforts to relaunch the Bendicks brand and diversify into new flavours and categories, we have not been able to drive the critical mass to support an independent manufacturing plant for Bendicks products only in the UK.”

Huber added that Storck has completed a review of the Bendicks business to “identify a plan that will be profitable and sustainable” with manufacturing efficiencies being “key” to the success of the business.

The company said that it will continue to employ over 30 staff to support marketing and sales of its brands in the UK.