Wrigley expands US capacity after acquisitions from Kraft

By Lorraine Heller

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Wrigley Confectionery Wm. wrigley jr. company Gum

Wrigley will be expanding its Chattanooga factory to accommodate
the production of Altoid mints, which will be transferred to the US
from Wales, the leading confectionery company announced on Monday.

The $14m expansion of the Chattanooga facility- acquired in June from Kraft Foods- will involve the addition of 60,000 square feet of space and the creation of 150 jobs.

The decision to discontinue operations at the Bridgend factory in Wales is a move to "maximize the effectiveness and efficiency of Wrigley's overall production network"​, the company said in a statement.

"Wrigley has a policy of making products where we sell them, and since 90 per cent of our Altroid brand sales are in the US and Canada, transferring their production here is a natural move,"​ the company's Christopher Perille told ConfectioneryNews.com.

At the time of its acquisition of the Kraft confectionery assets in June, Wrigley​ had also announced plans to cease operations at two of its factories, in Chicago and Edison. It further planned to increase investment and business activity at the company's manufacturing facilities in Gainsville and Yorkville.

As well as the Altoid brand, the $1.46bn Kraft transaction gave Wrigley ownership of other popular brands such as Life Savers, Creme Savers and Sugars.

Wrigley had said that the transaction "represents a significant reinforcement of our position as a world-class confectionary company."

In January 2004 Wrigley, the world's largest manufacturer and marketer of gum, with global sales of over $3.6 billion, acquired Spanish confectioner Joyco, which has strong positions in the bubble gum, candies and lollipops sectors, as well as a foothold in the emerging markets of India and China.

The company's acquisitive strategy started to pay off sooner than expected when impressive early sales from Joyco boosted its first quarter results, published in April. The company posted a 17 per cent increase in turnover from $812.2 million to $950 million.

The Chicago-based firm, which manufactures the Doublemint and Winterfresh chewing gum brands, recently introduced a new range of summer flavours for its popular gum products. The seven new items under the Orbit, Juicy Fruit, Eclipse and Hubba Bubba brands all tap into current consumer tastes and are targeted at specific demographic markets.

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