German gummi bear manufacturer Haribo Group has selected a site in southeast Wisconsin for its first North American production facility, the company announced Thursday.
Haribo, which already operates at 16 sites in 10 countries, had sought a U.S. location for several years and examined “many sites” in the process, said Rick LaBerge, executive v.p. and coo of Haribo of America, Inc., in a news release.
Located in Kenosha County near Pleasant Prairie — about 60 miles north of Chicago — the facility will provide 400 jobs once it becomes operational in 2020. Haribo is expected to invest $242 million into the plant, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.
“We are planning to build one of the largest sites in the confectionery industry,” says Wes Saber, executive v.p. and cfo of Haribo of America. “The new location provides ideal conditions to expand.”
The city of Pleasant Prairie has purchased a 438-acre site for a business park, and approximately 100 acres will be sold to Haribo, the Journal Sentinel reported.
Founded in 1920, the Bonn, Germany-based Haribo Group is the 10th largest candy company in the world with $3.18 billion in sales, according to Candy Industry’s 2017 Global Top 100. It employs 7,000 people around the world.
Haribo’s signature Gold Bears are already a strong performer in the U.S. non-chocolate chewy candy market, pulling in $124.6 million over the 52 weeks ending Feb. 19, IRI data show.