Mars will soon break ground on a global research and development hub adjacent to the company's existing Global Innovation Center on Goose Island in Chicago.
With this expanded capability, Chicago will become Mars Wrigley’s largest innovation hub in the world, adding to its network of global innovation centers. When complete, the innovation hub will allow the company to develop new products to support its global snacks and treats brands such as M&M'S, Snickers, Twix and more.
Crain’s Chicago Business reported Mars will spend $40 million on the new facility.
"Mars has made Chicago home to innovation for nearly 100 years, producing some of the world's most beloved and iconic snacks and treats," said Chris Rowe, global vice president of research and development, Mars Wrigley. "Creating new jobs and a world-class, multimillion- dollar research and development hub demonstrates our ongoing commitment to the Chicagoland area and accelerates our future for innovation. This facility brings exciting new capabilities and enhances the vibrant innovation culture Mars has on Goose Island."
The investment will bring about 30 additional jobs to the Mars Wrigley Global Innovation Center, which will bring the Mars campus total to nearly 1,000 jobs on Goose Island. Construction aims to begin this summer and is slated to be complete by summer 2023.
"On behalf of Chicago's business community, we congratulate Mars on its expansion in Chicago, creating both new jobs and the largest innovation center in Mars Wrigley's global footprint," said Michael Fassnacht, president and CEO, World Business Chicago; chief marketing officer, City of Chicago. "It's a proud moment for our city to see one of its longest running Chicago-based companies realize transformative change through tech and innovation. May this growth and expansion by Mars serve as an example to the world of Chicago's many competitive advantages."
Chicago will continue to play an important role for Mars and its history. The company's operations in the Chicagoland area include an ice cream facility in Burr Ridge, where Mars makes DOVEBAR, M&M'S Ice Cream Cookie Sandwich, and Snickers Ice Cream Bar; and Yorkville's treats production of Life Savers and Skittles. The company also produces a variety of filled bar chocolate, including Snickers, at its Chicago manufacturing site. At its Goose Island campus, Mars employs about 950 Associates from Mars Wrigley, Mars Food, and Mars Global Services.
Earlier this year, Mars announced the future community donation of its Chicago manufacturing site. As part of the donation process, Mars is partnering with Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) Chicago to engage the community, and local leaders, to identify opportunities for future use. Community engagement and conversations are underway and will continue over the next two years before the land is ready for donation sometime in 2024.
"LISC is honored to partner with Mars and support community engagement efforts for this notable land donation," said Meghan Harte, LISC Chicago executive director. "We'll leverage our expertise to support Chicago residents, local leaders, and Mars in defining and moving forward a community vision for the site that will deliver clear benefits to residents of Galewood and the city's West Side."