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Mars' Wrigley to open $69mn chewing gum facility in Kenya

Once operational, the factory will produce around 7.8bn pellets of chewing gum annually.

Confectionery giant, Mars Incorporated, has announced that it will open a Sh7bn (US$69mn) factory in Athi River, Kenya, to help expand its chewing gum subsidiary Wrigley's.

Built on a 20-acre piece of land, the factory will produce around 7.8bn pellets of chewing gum annually once operational.

Through the move, Mars Inc. aims to expand Wrigley’s market share in Kenya. 

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In 2017, Euromonitor International ranked Wrigley East Africa as the leader in Kenya’s chewing gum market with an 87% share, followed by Mondelez International and Lotte Confectionery company respectively. 

The announcement came on 23 May after a meeting between the nation’s President, Uhuru Kenyatta, and Director Victoria Mars.

“Your goal to boost local manufacturing capacity is timely and offers a great opportunity to expand employment and job creation for Kenyans while cementing the country’s position as a key industrial hub in Africa,” said Mars.

“Wrigley is keen on growing and developing our business here and contributing to this noble objective.”

Mars Inc. bought chewing gum company Wrigley in 2008 for US$23bn and the company’s Kenyan business produces chewing gum brands such as Big G, PK, Double-mint, Juicy Fruit and Orbit. 

Wrigley opened its first factory in the country in 1972, which is the chewing gum firm’s only manufacturing facility in Africa. 

 

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