NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Kraft Heinz (KHC - Get Report) is slimming down following its merger, and the first to feel the effects of the belt-tightening will be the employees.

The packaged food giant will be laying off around 2500 non-factory workers in the U.S. and Canada, roughly 5% of its workforce.

The newly combined company is aiming to slash at least $1.5 billion from its budget by the end of 2017. 

And jobs aren't the only thing getting the chop. Free Kraft snacks in the office are off the menu, and employees will also have to limit their use of paper products and printing.

The maker of tomato ketchup, baked beans and Jell-o announced in a statement that: "This new structure eliminates duplication to enable faster decision-making, increased accountability and accelerated growth."

The $46-billion merger deal was orchestrated by Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A) and Brazilian investment firm 3G Capital. 

Collectively they hold a 51% stake in Kraft Heinz.

3G has become well known for its aggressive cost-cutting strategies.

The firm streamlined numbers when it took over Burger King (BKW) and donut chain Tim Hortons  (THI).

Kraft Heinz, now the third biggest food producer in the U.S, is facing headwinds from the strong dollar and changing consumer tastes.

Shoppers are also increasingly rejecting processed, packaged foods like Kraft's Mac n' Cheese and embracing healthier, fresher options.

The company reported sales declines in both its Kraft and Heinz units for the second quarter.

Signaling that challenging times were still ahead, CEO Bernardo Hees said in a press release that: "The company is focused on the difficult and challenging process of integrating our two businesses. We have a lot of hard work ahead of us as we continue to design our new organization, always putting our consumers first."  

The worker layoffs come with severance benefits, according to the company statement and will take effect immediately.