German candy maker Haribo, Bonn, known for its fruit-flavored gummy bears, reports it's investing $242 million to build its first U.S. production facility. The company says it will start making confectionery in the U.S. in 2020, says a Reuters report. Family-owned Haribo, which employs 7,000 people worldwide at 16 sites in 10 countries, stated on March 23 it has decided to acquire property in Wisconsin for the facility.
Haribo, one of Germany's successful "Mittelstand" firms which comprise the backbone of Europe's largest economy, was founded in 1920. It gave Germany one of its most famous advertising slogans, promising to make kids and adults happy.
Expansion in the U.S. pits Haribo against North America's top candy makers, including Mars Chocolate, Mondelez International and Hershey Foods Corp.
"Haribo of America is the fastest-growing candy maker in the U.S.," said Hans Guido Riegel, Haribo's managing partner in a statement. "That's why the step to start with local production from 2020 is important to us." Riegel added the firm has been looking for a U.S. manufacturing site for several years.
The gummy bear maker expects to open the new candy production plant in Pleasant Prairie, bringing hundreds of jobs and nearly a quarter-billion dollar investment to the rapidly growing border area, Wisconsin's governor Scott Walker announced.