Wrigley has opened a factory in Guangzhou with an investment of over RMB1m (US$173.4m). The company claims that the 138,000sq-m site, in the Yonghe Economic Zone, is the largest, most technologically advanced manufacturing facility in its global supply network.
The first phase of the development will produce four types of Wrigley products on its 13 production lines, enabling the factory to make 100m standard sales units of confectionery and gum products per year.
Over the next few years, the factory will continue to expand production over two phases to increase overall volumes by 60%.
The Yonghe factory currently manufactures Skittles and Sugus chewy sweets, Pim Pom lollipops and Tata bubble gum. As the factory expands, Extra chewing gum and Doublemint mints will be added to the roster.
The confectionery market in China has been growing at a rate of between 8% and 12% annually, making it the second biggest market after the US.
Martin Radvan, the company president responsible for global strategy and operations, said in a release that the Guangzhou factory plays an important part in the firm's China strategy, where the firm has over 848m potential consumers.