Announcing a "period of consolidation", Bacardi said its decision to switch the manufacturing and bottling of Bacardi Breezer, and the bottling of Bacardi Rum, to other sites in the UK could cost 200 workers their jobs.
The company attributed the move to the "continued and significant decline over the past five years in the RTD sector ". Sales of Bacardi Breezer - the main product bottled in Southampton - have dropped dramatically, with a 24 per cent decline in the off-trade, according to Nielsen figures to Dec 30.
John Beard, chief executive of Bacardi-Martini UK, said: "The change in business conditions, cost competitiveness and economies of scale were significant factors in the decision to prepare to cease bottling operations at the Southampton facility.
"It is the right business decision to make for the long-term growth and competitiveness of Bacardi-Martini."