SWEET TREAT!

yorkville COLOR

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Production of popular Skittles candies coming to Yorkville

How about some homemade Skittles?

Well, it’s not exactly treats made in the family kitchen, but last week’s announcement that production of the popular candy is coming to a production facility in west suburban Yorkville may be the next best thing.

Chicago-based William Wrigley Jr. Co. will invest $50 million to expand its Yorkville facility, located on Illinois Route 47 north of the Kendall County community, and create an estimated 75 permanent jobs.

Wrigley has had a Yorkville presence since 1995, with production of well-known brands like Juicy Fruit and Doublemint gums and Life Savers candies at the plant.

“We are very excited about the expansion of the facility to accommodate the worldwide growth of Skittles,” Yorkville Mayor Gary Golinski said in a statement. “Wrigley’s confidence in Yorkville reaffirms that Yorkville continues to be a great choice for manufacturing and industry with a strong local workforce.”

The Yorkville plant currently employs around 300 persons, according to state of Illinois data. The state’s Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity will offer $2 million in tax incentives.

Such incentives — considered a credit against state income tax liability — are offered to firms to build or expand in Illinois when considering possible locations in other states.

The project includes expanding the Yorkville plant by 145,000 square feet and create hundreds of construction jobs, according to a state of Illinois estimate.

DCEO plans to also invest $250,000 in construction expenses and $37,500 in job training.A groundbreaking is expected in the next few weeks, with the plant operational sometime in 2015.

“Wrigley has called Illinois home for more than 100 years,” Kevin Fitzpatrick, vice president of supply chain for Wrigley North America, said. “We have a century-long track record of creating jobs, growing the economy and supporting our local communities in the greater Chicago area.

Wrigley is a standalone subsidiary of Mars, Inc., which purchased the 123-year-old chewing gum pioneer in 2008.  Skittles, originally a Mars, Inc. product, shifted to the Wrigley portfolio as part of the transaction.

“More people worldwide are enjoying Skittles than ever before – something we’re very proud of,” Fitzpatrick said. “The increased demand creates a need for new production systems. We’re thrilled to bring a fresh opportunity to share Wrigley’s growth with our home state of Illinois.”

Wrigley has operations in 50 countries, distribution in more than 180 and employs approximately 17,000 persons worldwide.

 

—By Jack McCarthy; News Bulletin news sources contributed