Mars Chocolate is to invest $67m on a plant expansion in the US as it looks to introduce a new production line for Pretzel M&Ms.
The company plans two new lines for its M&Ms and Twix products, as well as a new line for one of its newer products, Pretzel M&Ms, at its factory in Cleveland, Tennessee.
Tom Rowland, mayor of the city of Cleveland, confirmed to ConfectioneryNews.com that the local council had approved a payment in leiu of taxes program on Monday after local newspaper reports had suggested that an expansion was in the offing.
The council has exempted Mars from property taxes on half of the planned investment.
A Mars spokesperson later confirmed the details to this site.
Joe Burton, Cleveland plant director said: “Mars Chocolate North America is proud to be making ongoing investments at our Cleveland, TN facility.”
“We are grateful for the support of our associates and partners in the City, Bradley County and the state of Tennessee. “
Mars plans to add 37 new employees to about 450 that it currently has at the Cleveland site.
Pacesetting sales for Prezel M&Ms
Mars gave no indication as to why the investment had been made, but an earlier report suggests that Pretzel M&Ms are performing strongly.
M&M’s Pretzel was the top selling new confection in 2011, according to Symphony IRI 2011 New Product Pacesetters report released in April this year.
Pretzel M&Ms notched up $58.4m in first year sales after the product was launched in the latter part of 2010, making it the fifth bestselling new food and beverage product in 2011.