- Mars Inc. has invested $270 million in building its first new chocolate plant in 35 years in order to meet American demand for Snickers and M&Ms.
- The 500,000 square foot plant will be able to produce 14 million bite-sized Snickers each day, as well as 39 million M&M’s, enough to fill 1.5 million fun-sized packs.
- That's good news for the area south of Topeka, the site of the new plant, as it means 200 new jobs in the area.
Chocolate remains a bestseller, even in economic downturns. According to Matt Hudak, who follows the U.S. market for “impulse” foods as an analyst for market researcher Euromonitor International, chocolate remains an “affordable luxury.” He says candy makers can expect to see annual growth in chocolate sales stay above 3%. Debra Sandler, president of Mars Chocolate North America, agrees, observing: “We have been growing, and we see future growth." Chocolate is the growth area for candy manufacturers, as opposed to chewing gum, which has shown declining sales figures over the past four years.