Hackettstown, NJ — A $70 million investment in Mars Chocolate North America’s U.S. supply chain demonstrates the candy giant’s long-standing commitment to American manufacturing and innovation, and shows just how important the confectionery category is to the U.S. economy. The company says the move will add an estimated 250 jobs to chocolate product manufacturing sites across the U.S., illustrating the economic impact being highlighted by NCA during National Candy Month.
The planned spending, according to the company, also ensures more than 95 percent of Mars’ chocolate products intended for the U.S. will continue to be made domestically.
This funding commitment builds on the $1 billion in U.S. manufacturing investments Mars has made in the past five years. The company reports these investments have added more than 1,000 jobs across its portfolio of segments including chocolate, Wrigley, food, petcare, drinks and Symbioscience. “Mars believes in the value of keeping our operations in America — it is good for our people, our business and our consumers,” says Tracey Massey, president of Mars Chocolate North America. “This investment will create American jobs in communities across the country while also enabling us to offer more product innovation, choice and transparency to our consumers.”
Chocolate and candy companies provide 55,000 American manufacturing jobs, creating a direct economic impact of $35 billion, according to NCA.
Massey adds the current investments are enabling the company to introduce M&M’s Caramel, which she describes as “the biggest launch in Mars Chocolate’s history.” The product will be produced in Topeka, KS. More varieties of goodnessKNOWS snack squares, made in Albany, GA, are also a direct result of the funding, she tells CST.
The recently announced infusion of financial resources follows the company’s 2016 commitment of more than $900 million to further expand its overall U.S. supply chain.
These investments include:
• Creating 23 jobs through the $4.8 million expansion of the Mars Symbioscience site in Germantown, MD.
• Investing $50 million to expand Wrigley’s Yorkville, IL, facility, adding Skittles production — leading to a 25 percent increase in jobs.
The company points out its latest investment comes at a moment when both consumers and retailers are demanding greater choice and seeking product variety across calorie and price options. By continuing to expand its U.S. footprint, the company says it will be better able to introduce new treats to satisfy diversifying consumer appetites.
Massey says the company takes pride in the role it plays in supporting the communities where it is making products. “We have launched red, white and blue varieties of many of our treats to reinforce our pride of being a small but iconic part of American history,” she maintains.
In addition, Mars notes today’s consumers are demanding products be made locally, citing The Nielsen Co., LLC data that show 75 percent of millennials say buying American-made products is important to them.
“Our consumers are known for trying new things. They are increasingly paying attention to what they eat, but they also want to treat themselves,” says Massey. “Our supply chain transformation will allow us to balance consumers’ unique, changing needs while continuing to meet demand for their most beloved products.” CST