Mars Wrigley’s Exit From Chicago Is Another Blow For ‘The Candy Capital Of The World’
The plant’s closure is part of a restructuring of the company’s US operations, following Mars’ acquisition of Wrigley for $23 billion in 2008.
Mars-Wrigley moved its US headquarters from Chicago to New Jersey in 2017 and the company said the 1928-built factory would be phased out over the next two years, with the potential loss of 280 jobs.
A spokesperson for Mars-Wrigley told the Chicago Tribune that the workers are “encouraged to explore opportunities to apply for open positions in our network, particularly in the Chicago area.”
The company still operates a Burr Ridge ice cream plant, a candy factory in Yorkville, and a Mattoon pet food manufacturing site in Illinois.
Mars-Wrigley had net sales of $20 billion worldwide in 2020 and contributes about 27.2% of the $200 billion confectionery market, according to Statista.
The company announced its intention to donate the building, famous for its Spanish-style architecture, “for community use“.
In addition to being home to the National Confectioners Association’s Sweet & Snacks Expo, Chicago was once home to more than 1,000 local confectionery businesses. In recent years, other major companies, including Brach’s candy and Fannie May, have closed production facilities in the city.
The Blommer Chocolate Company is one of the last chocolate shops in the city center, and Ferrara Pan was bought by Nutella owner Ferrero in 2017 and moved its headquarters to the old post office building, complete with a store of factory in Forest Park.