Supplier News Breaks Archives
Hershey opens modernized plant
September 18th, 2012
HERSHEY, Pa. – The Hershey Co. has opened the doors for what it calls "the world's most technologically advanced chocolate making facility" that it said "positions the company for its next 100 years of global growth."
The chocolate giant said Tuesday that the 340,000-square-foot expansion at its West Hershey facility features proprietary, state-of-the-art technology never before used in the manufacture of confectionery.
Hershey noted that the new technology was developed specifically for the plant, including highly automated, large-scale Hershey's Kisses chocolate operations. The plant's advanced information technology systems include automated, real-time diagnostics systems to help keep operations running smoothly 24 hours a day, the company said.
Located less than two miles from the Hershey's original chocolate factory opened in 1905 by Milton Hershey, the new facility also expands manufacturing for such brands as Hershey's Bars, Hershey's Syrup and Rolo Candies, as well as Hershey's Kisses. The company said the new production lines that can produce more than 70 million Hershey's Kisses daily.
In addition, the new high-speed, high-tech new production lines have the capacity to support Hershey’s growing business now and well into the future, as well as to introduce new products. The facility includes the most technologically advanced, automated chocolate syrup production lines in the world, according to the company.
Hershey noted that its $300 million investment in the plant represents the largest direct investment by a food manufacturer in Pennsylvania in the last 20 years.
"Today, we are celebrating our proud Pennsylvania heritage, the growing popularity of Hershey products in global markets, our continuing investments in productive technology and our great workers who make it possible to enjoy these iconic products," John Bilbrey, president and chief executive officer of Hershey, said in a statement. "Hershey employees built this dynamic business during the first century of chocolate making in Hershey starting in 1905. Today, we honor each of those individuals and our history and applaud those who designed, built and operate our Factory of the Future. They continue to produce the finest chocolate confectionery right here in Hershey, Pa., where it all began. Together, we are securing the next century of growth for this iconic company."
The expansion also marks Pennsylvania's single-largest manufacturing investment since the construction of the original West Hershey plant in 1991, according to Hershey. The new development infused $70 million into the Pennsylvania economy and created more than 300 construction jobs. The plant’s workforce includes about 700 employees who transitioned from the original Hershey plant on East Chocolate Ave. — the company’s oldest facility, which ran continuously from 1905 until its retirement in April 2012.
West Hershey is one of the Hershey's eight manufacturing sites in the United States. The others are in Hazleton, Pa.; Stuarts Draft, Va.; Memphis, Tenn.; Lancaster, Pa.; Robinson, Ill.; Ashland, Ore. and the Reese's plant in Hershey, Pa.