Mars to invest $70m in US research, development site

The Hackettstown, New Jersey, site will gain a new prototyping kitchen, packaging lab and “collaboration space”.

Henry Mathieu March 21 2024

Mars is to invest $70m in a research and development site in the US for several of its chocolate and confectionery brands.

The Hackettstown, New Jersey site will gain a new prototyping kitchen, packaging lab and “collaboration space” in an effort to increase the “speed of innovation and development to meet evolving consumer preferences”, according to a statement from the US food giant.

The investment will be put towards the manufacturing of Mars brands including M&M’s, Twix, Snickers, Milky Way, Skittles, Starburst, Extra and Altoids.

The updated packaging studio will also allow for development and testing of sustainable packaging materials.

“At Mars, our commitment to quality and innovation has been at the centre of our business for more than a century,” said Anton Vincent, president of Mars Wrigley’s North America and global ice cream business.

Mars said that multi-year investments began at the Hackettstown site last year.

“The continued investment in our Hackettstown site re-affirms our commitment to innovation in New Jersey and upskilling our associates with best-in-class facilities to create more moments of everyday happiness for our consumers,” it said.

Just Food has contacted Mars for further details.

The opening of the New Jersey innovation studio follows the recent opening of the $42m Mars snacking research and development hub in Chicago.

In January, Mars announced that it was to set up a new manufacturing facility in the US for its Nature’s Bakery snack-bar brand.

The facility, which will be located in Salt Lake City in Utah, is scheduled to be “fully operational” in July next year, the company said. The site is currently under development. The plant will have approximately 190 full-time staff when it is in operation.

Mars is spending $237m on the project to build the factory, which will span more than 339,000 square feet.

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