TOPEKA, KS – Today Mars Chocolate North America broke ground for a new state-of-the art manufacturing facility at the Kanza Fire Commerce Park in Topeka, KS. The festive event marks the launch of the first phase of the project, during which Mars expects to invest more than $250MM and create approximately 200 full time jobs.
Over 400 people attended the groundbreaking including Todd Lachman, President of Mars Chocolate Latin America and North America, Victoria Mars from the Mars family and Kansas Governor Sam Brownback.
The official groundbreaking swiftly follows Mars’ recent announcement to invest in U.S. manufacturing to meet the growing demand for its iconic confectionery products, including M&M’S® and SNICKERS®. The 350,000 sq. foot facility is the first Mars Chocolate site built in the U.S. in thirty-five years.
“This new site represents Mars’ commitment to manufacturing in the United States for the U.S. market,” said Todd Lachman. “We are proud to create jobs in America’s heartland and are honored to partner with the Topeka community for years to come.”
“The opportunities afforded through this state-of-the-art facility mean new jobs and ongoing economic growth. This is a boon for Topeka and the state of Kansas and we look forward to building a sweet future with Mars,” Governor Brownback said.
The new facility will be built to meet leading-edge environmental standards, and will pursue a LEED Gold Certified designation upon completion, demonstrating Mars’ commitment to sustainability.
“This ground breaking represents the beginning of exceptional economic opportunities for the residents of Topeka and Shawnee County. We are proud to include Mars among the list of employers who have made their home here and look forward to the progress to come,” said Doug Kinsinger, GO Topeka and Greater Topeka Chamber of Commerce President and CEO.
About Mars Chocolate North America
Mars Chocolate North America is the North American chocolate operations of Mars, Incorporated. In 1911, Frank C. Mars made the first Mars candies in his Tacoma, Washington kitchen and established Mars’ first roots as a confectionery company. In the 1920s, Forrest E. Mars, Sr. joined his father in business and together they launched the MILKY WAY® bar. In 1932, Forrest, Sr. moved to the United Kingdom with a dream of building a business based on the philosophy of a “mutuality of benefits” for all stakeholders – this vision serves as the foundation of the Mars, Incorporated we are today. Based in McLean, Virginia, Mars has net sales of more than $30 billion and six business segments includingPetcare, Chocolate, Wrigley, Food, Drinks and Symbioscience. More than 65,000 Associates worldwide are putting our Mars Principles in action every day to make a difference for people and the planet through our performance.