Mars Chocolate North America says it will invest an additional $100 million into its Topeka, KS site, breaking ground on a new state-of-the-art 90,000-square-foot facility that will create 70 new full-time jobs.
"For over a century, Mars has been committed to making our products in the markets where we sell them," said Tracey Massey, president, Mars Chocolate North America. "We are grateful for the warm welcome and continued support we have received from Topeka and the state of Kansas, and we are pleased to further invest in the community with additional job creation and economic development."
With consumer purchasing habits changing, more Americans are opting for snacking products with fewer calories. Mars says part of the new facility will focus on introducing more product options under 200 calories per serving. Earlier this year the company brought back M&M'S Crispy at 180 calories per serving and in August will launch nationally goodnessknows Snack Squares at 150 calories.
"Our consumers and retailers are demanding even greater choice, seeking more product variety across a range of format, calorie and price options," Massey said. "By further growing our footprint in the U.S., we will better be able to introduce new treats to satisfy the most diverse consumer appetites."
Mars' expansion in Topeka follows the grand opening of the facility in 2014, the first new Mars Chocolate North America site built in the last 35 years. With this expansion, Mars' investment in Topeka totals $430 million, today employing over 200 associates producing a variety of M&M' Brand Candies and SNICKERS Bars. The facility is LEED Gold certified and meets Mars' stringent sustainability standards.
This latest investment in the US follows recent announcements by Mars, Incorporated of additional expansion across the country. In June Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company announced it would be adding 155 new associates at its Flowery Branch, GA facility to support additional sugarfree gum production. In addition, Mars Chocolate North America also shared news of its plans to hire 20 new associates in Albany, GA to support the national launch of goodnessknows.