Unilever has announced that it will be closing its frozen novelties manufacturing plant in Hagerstown, Md.

“Continually achieving greater efficiencies across our supply chain network is essential to our business,” said Steve Rosemary, director of manufacturing at Unilever Ice Cream. “An extensive and careful analysis has shown that greater efficiencies can be achieved by shifting production to other company plants in the U.S. This decision was not easily made, and in no way reflects the dedication or performance of our colleagues at the Hagerstown facility.”

Production from Hagerstown – which manufactures Klondike, Popsicle and Good Humor novelties, as well as Ben & Jerry’s cones and Breyer’s Fruit Bars – will be transferred to other sites within the Unilever network in several phases. Plant production is expected to finish by the end of 2011, with the final plant closing expected to occur during that same time period.

The decision to close the plant will affect 460 salaried and hourly employees.