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UPDATE: $270 million chocolate plant opens in NE Kansas

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press
Officials with candy maker Mars Inc. say they expect a new plant in Kansas to be producing millions of chocolates to satisfy America

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TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Officials with candy maker Mars Inc. say they expect a new plant in Kansas to be producing millions of chocolates to satisfy America's collective sweet tooth for a half-century.

The company had a grand-opening ceremony Thursday for its new, 500,000-square-foot plant. The facility will have the capacity to produce 39 million M&M's and 14 million bite-sized Snickers a day.

It's the first new Mars plant in North America in 35 years, and Mars Chocolate North America President Debra Sandler said nine others are operating at full capacity.

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback was on hand for the event and said afterward that the state wants to attract companies like Mars that rely on steady growth in their sales.

The company said it invested $270 million in the new plant.


Previous story:

Americans apparently aren't losing their taste for chocolate.

Mars Inc. is throwing a grand opening Thursday for a new $270 million plant in Kansas that will produce millions of chocolate bars and other sweets every day.

Company officials say the plant exists mostly to meet U.S. demand for its M&M's- and Snickers-brand candy. It's the first new Mars plant in North America in 35 years.

The plant will have the capacity to produce 14 million bite-sized Snickers bars and 39 million M&M's each day.

Local and state officials will join the company at the grand opening of the 500,000-square-foot plant, which they also see as a sweet deal. The plant is bringing about 200 jobs to the Topeka area.


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