FAIRMONT, Minn. (AP) — Fairmont Foods plans to close in March, putting 167 employees out of work.  

fairmontfoods.com

The frozen meal maker in south-central Minnesota cites the recent economic climate and says the company is unable to recover and continue operations.

City Administrator Mike Humpal tells the Sentinel of Fairmont he was "shocked as anybody" about Thursday's announcement.

Fairmont Mayor Randy Quiring says company officials told him declining business was to blame. The packaged foods industry has been struggling with sluggish demand.

The fate of the company's building is unclear, but Quiring says his main concern is helping the company's employees find new jobs in the area.

Fairmont Foods began operations more than 25 years ago on the site of a former Armour frozen foods plant that ConAgra closed.