Mars Opens New Facility in Topeka, Kansas

$270 million plant will enable company to produce M&M's, Snickers sustainably

Mars Chocolate M&M's Snickers

TOPEKA, Kansas -- Mars Chocolate North America officially opened the doors of a new, approximately 500,000-square-foot facility in Topeka, Kansas. The facility--the first new Mars Chocolate North America site built in the last 35 years--will help the company meet the demands of consumers for the next 50 years by producing M&M's and Snickers candies sustainably.

"This new $270 million facility, which will bring 200 new jobs to Topeka, is one of the largest investments in Mars history," said Debra A. Sandler, president of Mars Chocolate North America.

The location in Kansas' capital city was selected after a search that included visits to 17 states and more than 80 potential sites. Topeka rose to the top because of its talented local workforce, access to key amenities, including rail lines and utilities, the commitment of state and local leaders, as well as the connection between the community and the company's principles, it said.

Mars broke ground on the Topeka facility in August 2011. The plant is continuing to pursue onsite renewable energy and is working to incorporate a number of solutions into the design and construction of the facility such as sending no waste to landfills in order to achieve U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED). The company has also worked with a number of federal, state and local officials since the site selection to make the site a reality.

"This site is a critical addition to our network and will help fuel our future growth," said Sandler.

To celebrate the grand opening of the new Mars Chocolate North America Topeka plant, Mars Retail Group is opening a temporary M&M's World Store in downtown Topeka. The store will be open from March 28 to April 13. It will feature many of the same fixtures and merchandise fans can find in the flagship M&M's World stores in New York, Las Vegas, Orlando and London as well as special "Made in Topeka" merchandise.

Mars Chocolate North America, Hackettstown, N.J., is the North American chocolate operations of Mars Inc. McLean, Va.-based Mars has net sales of more than $33 billion, six business segments including Chocolate, Wrigley, Food, Drinks, Petcare and Symbioscience. Mars brands include chocolate: M&M's, Snickers, Dove, Galaxy, Mars, Milky Way And Twix; Wrigley: Doublemint, Extra, Orbit and 5 Chewing Gums, Skittles and Starburst candies and Altoids and Lifesavers mints; Food: Uncle Ben's, Dolmio, Ebly, Masterfoods, Seeds of Change and Royco; Drinks: Alterra Coffee Roasters, The Bright Tea Co., Klix and Flavia; Petcare: Pedigree, Royal Canin, Whiskas, Kitekat, Banfield Pet Hospital and Nutro; Symbioscience: Cocoavia and Wisdom Panel.