A new packaging line for Maltesers at Mars Wrigley's Ballarat site will account for part of the confectionery giant's $30 million investment to drive local innovation and build manufacturing capability.
The latest capital injection builds on the $37 million investment for the Ballarat site that Mars Wrigley announced in 2020, as part of its continued commitment to Australian manufacturing and to future-proof its Australian operations. The Ballarat factory currently makes products for export to over 17 countries.
Andrew Leakey, general manager – Mars Wrigley Australia, said, “While the majority of our products are made in Australia today, our ambition is to make even more of our products here in the future. The new AU$30 million investment into our Ballarat factory will support our ambition by enhancing our on-shore manufacturing technologies and capabilities to ensure our Australian business remains globally competitive.”
Leakey said that as one of Australia’s largest manufacturers, Mars Wrigley recognises it has an important role to play in helping future proof not only its business, but also the food & beverage manufacturing industry.
“The new technological advancements at our Ballarat factory from this latest round investment will feed into our ongoing commitment to upskilling our associates and building a robust talent pipeline,” he said.
The expansion of Mars Wrigley’s local chocolate making capabilities will enable the manufacturer to introduce more variants to its chocolate bar line, including the new Mars Raspberry Smash available at major retailers nationwide.
The new packaging line for Maltesers will allow for increased volume of production, unlocking new export opportunities to growth markets across Asia during peak season demand.
As part of the AU$30m investment, teh company has installed a new dual bagger for its Maltesers line that will allow it to increase the volume of production during peak season and export more to growth markets such as Korea and other parts of Asia.
The new dual bagger, which accounts for AU$1.3m of the total investment, will be operational and start bagging the Maltesers fun size packs (12g) in two weeks’ time.
According to Mars Wrigley, as a global company, it leverages its extensive factory network to drive efficiencies and unlock opportunities domestically. Much of the equipment for the new line has been brought in from a sister factory in France, which no longer requires the line. Mars Wrigley worked with a number of local contractors to help with the supporting equipment and the integration to the line.
Teh overall investment will also allow for Mars Wrigley to roll out asset improvements and enhancements to both the M&M's and Pods lines. Mars Wrigley’s Ballarat factory is the only manufacturing site in the world that makes Pods, and the company says these equipment upgrades will allow the business to continue manufacturing and distributing the product throughout Australia. To date, around one billion Pods pieces have been made a year, equating to approximately 15 billion made since the product launched in 2004.
The Ballarat factory has the capacity to produce five billion M&M's per year.