Skittles maker Mars Wrigley to shutter historical Chicago chocolate plant 

USA — Mars Wrigley will be closing the original Mars factory in Chicago, which still makes M&Ms, Twix, Snickers, Milky Way, and Skittles, the company confirmed.  

The closure, first reported by a Chicago CBS station, will happen during the next two years with production being moved to other manufacturing facilities. 

The Mars Wrigley factory can trace its history back to Mars founder Frank Mars’s decision to move his candy company from Minneapolis to the Windy City. 

It was Mars’s first factory in Chicago, and at the time of its construction and for a generation, after it was built, it was said to be the nation’s largest candy factory. 

There 280 employees working at the factory will be encouraged to apply for other open roles at Mars, Incorporated, a company spokesperson said.  

The company has two other large food manufacturing operations in the Chicago area, which is also home to its food business’s corporate headquarters. 

It’s unclear why Mars Wrigley would want to close the factory now as from outward appearances, it would seem Mars Wrigley’s business has done well through the pandemic. 

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 According to Statista, Mars, Incorporated, was the world’s best-selling candy company in 2020, with $20 billion in net sales. 

Plant closures- an inevitable reality 

However, changes in business models and product lines, as well as increased automation and technology, could certainly lead to plant closures and layoffs. 

Other big food companies have announced layoffs among factory workers in the recent past for these reasons. 

Earlier this month, Tyson announced it was laying off 200 workers at a Kentucky poultry plant as the company changed the product mix at the site.  

Mondelēz International has also shuttered two older bakery plants during the summer — one in Atlanta and one in New Jersey. 

 The company said the locations were no longer geographically strategic and the plants had operational challenges, including aging infrastructure that would require “significant investment” to be modernized. 

M&M brand embraces inclusivity 

Earlier, Mars Wrigley announced is updating the M&M’S brand’s characters to include more nuanced personalities and underscore the importance of self-expression and the power of community. 

“We’re excited to reveal our new M&M’S brand look and feel, which fans will see come to life across all M&M’S touchpoints around the globe,” said Jane Hwang, global marketing vice president, Mars Wrigley.  

“From new product innovations to brand campaigns, our evolved characters and our experiential retail stores, we’ll incorporate colorful visuals, inclusive messaging and our purpose into all we do to prove that all together, we’re more fun.” 

Mars Wrigley’s has also recently expanded its Dove Chocolate range to include Dove Large Promises, which are three times the size of the original Dove Promises, bringing consumers a more premium experience to share, enjoy individually or take on the go. 

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