Building its first U.S. manufacturing facility, Haribo of America, Inc., part of Germany’s Haribo GmbH, anticipates the project will be complete by 2020 and cost approximately $242 million. The plant will be located in Kenosha County, in southeast Wisconsin, and is expected to employ more than 400 people, according to the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. (WEDC).
The location for the estimated 500,000-square-foot factory was chosen because of its proximity to skilled labor, flexible supply opportunities and exceptional community support, according to the company. The WEDC and state officials are continuing discussions with Haribo regarding possible incentives for the project, according to the state’s office of the governor.
This recent announcement comes as the National Confectioners Association (NCA), along with chocolate and candy companies and others across the country are celebrating June as National Candy Month — a time to celebrate the sweeter side of life and reflect on a classic American manufacturing success story.
Haribo’s U.S. investment will have a major economic impact on the region. NCA reports that for every job the confectionery industry creates in manufacturing, another seven are supported in related fields, including retail, agriculture and shipping – totaling 465,000 workers that rely in part on the manufacturing and sales of confections for their livelihoods.
“We are embarking on building one of the largest facilities in the confectionery industry and this location provides ideal conditions to further grow Haribo’s successful business in the USA,” says Wes Saber, executive vice-president and CFO.
The candymaker purchased the property following an extensive search that took several years to complete, according to Rick LaBerge, executive vice-president and COO of Haribo of America.
“As a global company with products that are loved by millions, and a legacy that dates back nearly a century, Haribo is a great fit with the many other iconic companies that already call Wisconsin home,” says Gov. Scott Walker. “The state’s business-friendly climate and strong fiscal management, along with our dedicated workforce and reliable infrastructure, are among the many reasons Haribo decided Wisconsin was the right choice for this facility.”
While production is scheduled to begin in three years, the company has yet to determine a groundbreaking date, which products will be made at the plant and if its output will meet all domestic needs, according to Keith Danoff, vice-president of marketing.
Hans Guido Riegel, managing partner of the Haribo GmbH & Co. KG, says: “The decision to build a manufacturing facility in Wisconsin is of great importance. Haribo of America is the fastest growing sugar confectionery business in the USA, hence the strategic importance of our manufacturing facility to commence production in 2020.”
Haribo GmbH operates 16 manufacturing facilities in 10 countries, employing nearly 7,000 people worldwide.