Mars Wrigley officially opens its new $69m factory in Kenya

Almost four years to the day after it broke ground on the site, US confectionery manufacturer Mars Wrigley has officially opened its new $69m factory in Athi River, southeast of Nairobi. The new facility will manufacture chewing gum and sugar confectionery brands, including Skittles, for the company’s core African markets.

The new factory, which sits on a 20 acre site, replaces one that Mars has had in the country since 1972. Mars Wrigley intends on using the new factory to deliver product to core African markets including Egypt, DRC and Nigeria, as well as East African markets. It will employ 200 workers.

Mars Wrigley will start manufacturing Skittles at the Athi River site by the end of 2019. In conversations with Trendtype, the company has revealed that it is keen to use its PK brand to appeal to appeal to new gum consumers, with the more premium Orbit, Doublemint and Juicy Fruit brands available as a trade up.

Currently, Mars Wrigley manufactures chocolate in South Africa and Egypt. It also ships product into African markets from its factories in France and the Netherlands. The company has not said if it will manufacture its countlines (Twix, Mars, Snickers, Bounty) or Malteser or M&M brands in Kenya in the future.