Just in time for the German candy maker’s 100th anniversary, HARIBO has begun construction on its 130-acre plant in Pleasant Prairie.
To celebrate the groundbreaking and the company’s anniversary, Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers proclaimed December 18 “HARIBO Gummi Day” in the state of Wisconsin. In Milwaukee, 30 minutes north of the Pleasant Prairie via the 1-94 corridor, the iconic Hoan Bridge was lit up in HARIBO’s candy colors to mark the occasion.
“HARIBO is the fastest growing confectionery brand in the United States. I’m proud that its products, which put smiles on the faces of Americans from coast-to-coast, will be made right here in Wisconsin,” said Governor Tony Evers in his announcement. “We warmly welcome HARIBO to a long list of family-run enterprises that form the economic backbone of our state, making best-in-class products that reach every corner of the globe.”
Under the company’s enterprise zone agreement with the state, HARIBO is eligible for up to $22.5 million in tax credits, based on the $239.6 million capital investment and 385 jobs created. The company looked at several other locations in Illinois when considering options for its first U.S. production facility, but ultimately chose Pleasant Prairie due to its proximity to the interstate, utility costs and quality of life for employees.
Wes Saber, HARIBO of America’s executive vice president and chief financial officer, said the planned $239.6 million was just the start of the capital investment the company intends to make at the facility, and that the project has the potential to create an additional 4,200 indirect jobs once completed.
“It’s important to us to be exemplary corporate citizens and give back to the places where we live and work, so we’re proud of the relationships we’ve already built as we become part of the fabric of the community,” Saber said in a statement.
“HARIBO’s commitment to quality, excellence and joy makes it precisely the kind of company we want and can well support in Wisconsin,” said Missy Hughes, secretary and CEO of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC). “The company is a perfect fit with our food production tradition and joins an enviable roster of iconic consumer brands that call Wisconsin home.”
Wisconsin’s Enterprise Zone Tax Credits are available to assist businesses that have major expansion projects or are locating or relocating major business operations from other states or countries.
HARIBO was founded in December of 1920. Since then, the company has grown to employ nearly 7,000 people in 10 countries. The company says a U.S. location was necessary to help eliminate the nearly three months it takes for Haribo products to arrive on store shelves. The state-of-the-art facility, the largest project in the company’s history, is expected to produce 132 million pounds of gummi candies annually.