Mars confirms summer construction for major Chicago research site
Mars has confirmed that construction is set to begin this summer on an advanced new major research and development hub in Chicago, US, driving product creation across its key confectionery and snacks ranges, writes Neill Barston.
As the company explained, it is set to shortly break ground on the project, which will be adjacent to its existing global innovation centre at Goose Island, with building work expected to be completed within twelve months.
According to Mars, the new facilities will significantly expand its range of capabilities, meaning Chicago will become the largest innovation hub in the world for Mars Wrigley, adding to its network of global innovation centres.
When complete, the innovation hub will inspire the next generation of new products to support the company’s iconic global snacks and treats brands such as M&M’s, Snickers and Twix, which have an international presence.
The city has had a long association with Mars, including its ice cream facility in Burr Ridge, where the business makes Dovebar, M&M’s Ice Cream Cooking Sandwick, as well as Snickers Ice Cream Bar, and Yorkville’s treats production of Life Savers, and the major Skittles brand of confectionery.
Furthermore, the firm also produces a variety of filled bar chocolate, including Snickers at its Chicago manufacturing site. At its Goose Island campus, Mars employs about 950 Associates from Mars Wrigley, Mars Food, and Mars Global Services.
“Mars has made Chicago home to innovation for nearly 100 years, producing some of the world’s most beloved and iconic snacks and treats,” said Chris Rowe, Global Vice President of Research and Development, Mars Wrigley. “Creating new jobs and a world-class, multimillion- dollar research and development hub demonstrates our ongoing commitment to the Chicagoland area and accelerates our future for innovation. This facility brings exciting new capabilities and enhances the vibrant innovation culture Mars has on Goose Island.”
“Chicago is ever-growing and emerging as a leader in innovation and technology,” said Chicago Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot. “Mars is the latest among many companies who are recognising our city’s strengths and unmatched talent and expanding operations here. I thank Mars and its leadership for their longstanding commitment to our city and wish them success in this latest expansion.”
The investment will bring about thirty (30) additional jobs to the Mars Wrigley Global Innovation Center, which will bring the Mars campus total to nearly 1,000 jobs on Goose Island.
“On behalf of Chicago’s business community, we congratulate Mars on its expansion in Chicago, creating both new jobs and the largest innovation centre in Mars Wrigley’s global footprint,” said Michael Fassnacht, President & CEO, World Business Chicago, Chief Marketing Officer, City of Chicago.