Hershey will build a new chocolate factory in Hershey, Pennsylvania, to manufacture brands including Reese's and Kit Kat bars as the candy company pushes to grow its production footprint, the company said in an emailed news release.
The 250,000-square-foot facility will sit on a 55-acre site near the company's Reese's plant, and will be one of three plants in the city, also home to Hershey's corporate offices. Hershey currently operates facilities in six cities across the country, according to the company’s website.
The upcoming manufacturing site is slated to be operational in early 2024 and is part of a $1 billion plan to bolster the candy maker’s supply chain. In addition to the new factory, Hershey is investing in 13 new production lines and the upgrading of 11 existing lines in other North American facilities.
Earlier this year, the company also opened a new fulfillment center in Annville, Pennsylvania and launched a distribution center in Brantford, Canada. A third center in Whitestown, Indiana, will support the company’s snack business, including brands such as SkinnyPop and Pirate’s Booty.
Hershey has been hustling to boost its capacity, with the goal of opening five new manufacturing lines in 2023, CEO Michele Buck said on a Q3 earnings call. The confection company faced production and capacity constraints earlier this year amid the omicron wave, forcing it to rationalize SKUs.
Now, it's working to improve capacity for years to come.
“Our ability to grow – today and in the future – is rooted in how fast we can make and deliver our products,” Will Bonifant, vice president, U.S. & Canada supply chain, said in a statement. “We’ve made significant investments over the past few years with new facilities and updates to existing sites to speed production and make more of the iconic brands consumers love.”