Unilever, which holds brands such as Carte D'Or ice cream and Lipton tea, is set to make the job cuts at its factory in Rueil-Malmaison, on the outskirts of Paris. The group, like several of its food industry rivals, has struggled against low consumer confidence in France over the last few years. Sophie Jayet, spokesperson for Unilever France, told Associated Press the firm had decided the current setup was no longer sustainable after three years of decline in the country. Unilever announced recently that consumer demand had grown across Europe during the first three months of 2007. But the firm's operating margins slipped 2.4 per cent in the region during the same period, largely due to costs associated with restructuring its business there. France, already a mature market and where unemployment has been above eight per cent in recent years, has been a thorn in the side of several food and drink firms. More than two thirds of French consumers expect their buying power to fall over the next few years, and spend on food dropped by 30 per cent last year alone, according to a recent survey of 1,000 consumers by respected French magazine, LSA. However, the same survey also found that a victory for Nicolas Sarkozy in the French presidential election may boost buying confidence. Sarkozy was earlier this month duly elected on a mandate for radical change, although many French people are taking a "wait and see" approach.