Mars Wrigley Australia has announced it has bolstered its local manufacturing capability by investing over $300,000 to bring new technologies to its chocolate factory in Ballarat, Victoria.
The investment enables Mars Wrigley to produce M&M’s Pretzel locally, bringing the salty and sweet treat to Australia for the first time. Additionally, the latest investment expands the capability for the Ballarat factory to create filled M&M’S and explore more Australian-made innovations for M&M’S.
The Ballarat factory currently has the capacity to produce over five billion M&M’S per year – a distance equivalent to traveling around Australia 3.5 times (56,000 kilometres) – with M&M’S Pretzel the latest addition to its local production line.
The latest equipment upgrade is part of a broader $37 million investment Mars Wrigley Australia has committed to in 2020 – enabling the manufacturer to continue to upgrade the factory to future-proof and advance its local manufacturing capability.
The investment follows the Ballarat factory’s 40th Anniversary, which it celebrated in November last year and builds on the $14 million invested into the Ballarat factory to maintain and upgrade its operations in 2018.
“We are dedicated to continuing to support Australia’s manufacturing sector and invest and innovate in infrastructure, equipment and processes at our local factories to ensure they remain world class. This latest project is part of our long-term ambition to continue to drive and develop our core bitesize brands that we manufacture locally in Ballarat,” said Andrew Leakey, general manager – Mars Wrigley Australia.
The Ballarat factory is a Regional Technical Hub for Mars Wrigley’s global brand development and innovation pipeline. As a result, many of Mars Wrigley’s most celebrated innovations – including Pods and M&M’S Honeycomb were invented in Ballarat by Australian employees.
Ballarat is one of four Mars factories in the world that manufactures and exports Maltesers and back in 2012 Mars Wrigley invested close to $50 million to build a new Maltesers’ production facility. Ballarat is also the only Mars Wrigley factory in the world that has the capability to manufacture Pods.
Mars Wrigley’s Ballarat factory employs more than 350 people.