Mars is to invest more than EUR70m (US$79.5m) in a plant in France that predominately manufactures the confectionery giant’s M&M’s brand.   

The facility in Haguenau in the country’s eastern region of Alsace turns out 90% of Mars’ M&M’s output in Europe, producing more than 130 million a day for export to around 50 countries.

Spending will focus on “the transformation and development of the site’s production lines in order to meet the new requirements of customers, notably the removal of titanium dioxide (an additive) across the full range of its confectionery products, on a French and European scale, and the strengthening of quality standards”, the company said.

The production of M&M’s without titanium dioxide will begin from the middle of next year.

Of the total investment, EUR44m is earmarked for the “transition plan” to discard the food additive by mid-2020 and replace it with rice starch. The same plant also received EUR30m in funds in 2007 and another EUR40m in 2012.