Chicago — The Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co. is investing $50 million in a 145,000-square-foot addition to its Yorkville, IL, plant to meet growing U.S. demand for its Skittles brand, the company reports.
Built in 1995, the plant produces Juicy Fruit, Doublemint and Life Savers brands and employs 300 people. An additional 75 jobs would be added, Wrigley reports. Currently, U.S. production of Skittles is handled by the company’s Waco, TX, facility and five overseas operations.
Kevin Fitzpatrick, vice-president of supply chain for Wrigley North America, says: "We have a century-long track record of creating jobs, growing the economy ands supporting our local communities in the greater Chicago area. With the expansion of our Skittles production in Illinois, and in partnership with the state, we'll be able to offer high-quality manufacturing jobs and ensure the Yorkville facility has an opportunity to grow."
Ground will be broken for the expansion in Q2 2014; production should begin by the end of 2015, according to Wrigley, which received $2 million in tax incentives, $250,000 in construction expenses and $37,500 in job training assistance from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.
Noting all Wrigley North America sites are zero waste to landfill, Caroline M. Sherman, U.S. manager of marketing communications adds: "The Yorkville expansion will be designed to LEED Gold Standards. We're mindful of our impact on the world around us and as we grow, we will continue to identify ways to reduce our evironmental footprint while reducing costs by being more efficient."