Hershey, PA — The Hershey Co. is making its single-largest investment in Asia by opening a $250 million production facility in Malaysia with the ability to produce the largest array of products of any company facility outside the U.S. or Mexico.
The 700,000-square-foot plant will produce Hershey’s Kisses and Milk Chocolate Bars, as well as Reese’s and Ice Breaker brands, the company reports. Kisses and Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bars are the company's biggest selling products in Asia, while Reese’s and Ice Breakers brands are both growing in the region, according to Jeff Beckman, Hershey spokesman.
“These are our key global brands that we have identified that have appeal to consumers around the world and will be key drivers of our global growth,” he tells Candy & Snack TODAY.
Hershey reports the plant location was selected because of Malaysia’s central location and ease of access to half of the world's population. In addition, Asia is anticipated to account for 70 percent of the global middle class consumption by 2050 and chocolate growth is projected to rise 12 percent in China, 18 percent in India and seven percent in South East Asia by 2017, according to the company.
The expansion is part of the company’s global growth goals of $10 billion in annual revenue by 2017 by focusing on key international markets such as China and expanding its product portfolio. Hershey reports an estimated $1 billion in international sales by the end of 2014.