German confectioner Haribo can finally start work on its first US manufacturing facility after receiving the green light from local planning chiefs.

Building work on the first phase of the plant in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin, which was first discussed back in 2017, can finally get under way after conditional approval on the site and operations from the Pleasant Prairie Plan Commission. 

Bonn-headquartered Haribo is now eyeing September for groundbreaking on the 487,400 sq ft production facility which will also include warehouse and office spaces.

Arndt Ruesges, Haribo chief production officer, said: “We’re reaching our 100th anniversary at Haribo this year, and we’re excited to celebrate that with continued progress on our first US factory.” 

Haribo said up to 385 people will be employed at the facility once the first phase of development is complete.

The Haribo USA factory will produce Haribo’s Goldbears product in the first instance with Sour Goldbears, Twin Snakes and Starmix likely to follow. 

A company spokesperson told just-food the company produces 100 million Goldbears every day in its 16 factories around the world. The US factory will be set up to produce 66,000 tons of Goldbears per year.  

In July last year, Haribo announced it was moving some production from Germany and Turkey to the UK in an attempt to boost capacity to meet growing demand from the US.