Hershey / PA. (thc) The Hershey Company announced it will build a new confectionery manufacturing plant in Johor, Malaysia, to meet the growing consumer demand for its products in its fastest-growing region. «Consumers across Asia are discovering a range of Hershey confectionery products, and China in particular is growing faster than any other market», said Terence O´Day, Senior Vice President and Chief Supply Chain Officer, The Hershey Company. «Our new Malaysia plant will feature the latest confectionery manufacturing technology and will complement production at our existing joint-venture plant in China. Adding this new manufacturing capacity will put us in a strong position to meet the growing demand for our products across the region».
Major Investment in the Region
Hershey has been investing in its Asia business for several years, building its presence across the region. The Johor plant, a 250 million USD investment, represents the single- largest investment in Asia during the company´s 18-year history in the region. «We are honoured that Hershey selected Malaysia for the site of its next manufacturing plant», said Datuk Noharuddin Nordin, Chief Executive Officer of Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA). «This is a testament to the continued attractiveness of Malaysia for multinationals making substantial commitments to the region. This project will bring years of positive economic benefit to Malaysia in the form of jobs and business for local suppliers».
The new plant will include innovations in automated candy-making technology, including proprietary equipment and systems developed to Hershey´s specifications. The plant´s capabilities will include high-speed wrapping machines featuring proprietary, specially engineered wrapping technologies.
The plant´s location in Johor is a strategic geographical choice that provides Hershey with easy distribution access to more than 25 markets across Asia. Malaysia also offers a well-educated potential workforce, a stable political environment, a strong supply chain infrastructure and globally recognized Halal food manufacturing certification that is an advantage for products sold in the region.
The Malaysia plant investment continues Hershey´s ongoing modernization and expansion of its global supply chain to position the company for its next 100 years of growth. This includes the company´s «Project Next Century», a 300 million USD investment in its manufacturing and logistics, which culminated with the opening of the world´s most technologically advanced chocolate making facility in the company´s hometown of Hershey, Pennsylvania.
After Hershey completes the building structure in early 2015, the Malaysia plant will be one of the largest facilities in the company´s global manufacturing network with 700’000 total square feet. The company has nine plants in the United States as well as facilities in Canada, Mexico, India, Brazil and China. The Malaysia plant will also have the capability to produce the broadest array of finished products of any Hershey factory outside of the United States and Mexico.
Fuelling Regional and Global Growth
The plant will produce four of Hershey´s five global brands, which include: Hershey´s Kisses, Ice Breakers, Reese´s and Hershey´s Milk Chocolate bars. Hershey is expanding its global distribution of these brands as part of the company´s ambitious global growth vision to achieve ten billion USD in annual revenue by 2017. Hershey´s global growth plans include focusing on key international focus markets, such as China, and expanding its consumer product portfolios around the world. Hershey expects international sales to reach approximately one billion USD by the end of 2014.