CHICAGO — To help fuel surging sales for its Skittles candy brand, Wrigley has opened a state-of-the-art expansion to its factory in Yorkville, Ill.
Wrigley said Tuesday that the Yorkville addition adds 145,000 square feet, a new Skittles line and 75 new jobs, which represents a 25% increase in the facility’s workforce. The company said the project stems from a $50 million investment by parent company Mars Inc.
Wrigley is excited to announce that the Skittles brand is now the number one non-chocolate candy in the United States, and to accommodate that growth, Mars is opening a brand new, $50 million Skittles line to the Wrigley factory in Yorkville, Ill., on June 14. The expansion, which adds 75 jobs, comes just as we’re launching Skittles America Mix – a red, white and blue mix just in time for summer.
The Yorkville factory expansion reflects “the unprecedented growth of the Skittles brand,” according to Wrigley. The company reported that the rainbow-colored candy is the nation’s top nonchocolate confection brand, which it said is driven by “best-in-class” marketing, retail activity and ardent fans.
The new Skittles line — Skittles America Mix, a red, white and blue combination of the popular chewy candy — comes just in time for summer, Wrigley added. The Yorkville factory also makes iconic brands such as Life Savers, Doublemint and Juicy Fruit.
“Mars has a long-standing history of making our products in the markets where they’re sold,” stated Wrigley Americas president Casey Keller. “With the expansion of our Skittles production footprint, we are proud to continue that tradition right here in the state that Wrigley has called home for 125 years.”
The company said the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, the Yorkville Area Chamber of Commerce, the City of Yorkville and Kendall County have assisted its growth in Illinois.
“Wrigley is an iconic Illinois company, and we are proud it is continuing to grow in our state,” Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner said in a statement. “Wrigley has invested nearly $200 million in Illinois over the past seven years, creating hundreds of jobs for Illinois residents. The state of Illinois is glad to be a partner in Wrigley’s further expansion.”
In the past five years, Mars has invested $1 billion in U.S. factories and operations, creating more than 1,000 jobs, according to Wrigley. The global manufacturer’s recent U.S. investments include the opening of a new Mars Chocolate factory in Topeka, Kan.; the expansion of a Mars Chocolate factory in Albany, Ga.; the opening of a new Mars Petcare Innovation Center in Thompson’s Station, Tenn.; and the construction of a new Mars Drinks campus in Westchester, N.Y.
Plans call for Mars to invest another $900 million in the expansion of operations and associate training and development in the next two years.