ROSEMONT, Ill. -- Haribo of America has acquired property in southeastern Wisconsin for its first manufacturing facility in the United States, kicking off an aggressive plan for expansion in the growing gummy and licorice market in the United States.
The candy manufacturer will build the $242 million plant in Pleasant Prairie after years of searching for the ideal location, according to Rick LaBerge, executive vice president and COO at Haribo of America. The company examined several different sites in an "elaborate process," he said.
"The decision to build a manufacturing facility in Wisconsin is of great importance for the Haribo Group," said Hans Guido Riegel, managing partner of the Haribo Group.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker said the new facility, which will begin production in 2020, will bring hundreds of jobs and almost a quarter-billion dollar investment to the area. "These are well-paying jobs above market (salary) and they tend to offer a full benefit package," he told The Milwaukee Journal Sentinal.
Between 2011 and 2017, U.S. sales of gummy snacks have increased by more than 127% to $115 million, according to Euromonitor.
"As we are embarking on building one of the largest facilities in the confectionery industry, this location provides ideal conditions to further grow Haribo's successful business in the [United States]," said Wes Saber, executive vice president and CFO of Haribo of America.
Rosemont, Ill.-based Haribo of America also has appointed Eric Gafkjen, director of sales for convenience, as vice president of sales, and promoted Allyse Weston (pictured), senior national account manager, to director of sales for convenience. The company has also hired Ryan Harris and Meredith Blackburn as national account managers on the convenience team.