Mars Inc expects to launch its second and largest confectionery factory in Russia in 2012.
The new plant, which will also be the largest in Russia, is set to be built in Cherdaklinsky in the Ulyanovsk region.
Mars’s total investment in the facility will stand at RUB3.3bn (US$110.8m), according to government officials in Ulyanovsk.
The factory will produce the entire range of the company’s brands, in particular its well-known chocolate bars, a source at Mars told just-food.
Despite the downturn in Russia affecting chocolate sales, Mars still believes in the market has good potential in almost all segments.
According to Mars’ calculations, per capita chocolate consumption in Russia is about 5 kg, which is significantly less compared to EU figures, where consumptions is around 9 kg.
Local analysts believe that there is a strong need for Mars to expand its Russian chocolate operations.
They claim that Mars’ Stupino factory in the Moscow region, which has an estimated total production capacity at nearly 150,000 tones per year, is no longer sufficient for the business in Russia.
While Mars has yet to confirm the capacity of the new plant, it will exceed the capacity of the Stupino facility.