Governor Scott Walker today announced that HARIBO, the German-based confectionary company and maker of the popular "Gold-Bear" gummy candies, has selected Kenosha County as the site of its first manufacturing facility in North America. Thenew facility is expected to open in 2018.
"On behalf of the state, I want to thank HARIBO for its decision to establish its North American manufacturing operations in Kenosha County and I applaud the company for its commitment to Wisconsin," Gov. Walker said. "As a global company with products that are loved by millions and a legacy that dates back nearly a century, HARIBO is a great fit with the many other iconic companies that already call Wisconsin home. The state's business-friendly climate and strong fiscal management, along with our dedicated workforce and reliable infrastructure, are among the many reasons HARIBO decided Wisconsin was the right choice for this facility."
"HARIBO has already been in the process of selecting a location for a first manufacturing facility in the U.S.A. for several years. In an elaborate process, we have examined many different sites. We are very excited to announce this important decision today," said Rick LaBerge, chief operating officer of HARIBO of America Inc.
Founded in 1920 and based in Bonn, Germany, HARIBO is the world market leader in the fruit gum and licorice segment, with 100 million Gold-Bears alone produced daily worldwide. The family-owned, third-generation company employs nearly 7,000 people globally.
As part of the state's foreign direct investment efforts, Gov. Walker and Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) leaders have proactively been meeting with business executives around the world to promote the state's assets and make a strong case about why those companies should establish new operations in Wisconsin.
WEDC also has worked closely with local, county and regional officials to ensure that the state could meet HARIBO's needs for what will be one of the largest U.S. manufacturing sites in the confectionary industry. WEDC is continuing discussions with the company regarding possible incentives for the project.
"This project would not have been possible without the outstanding partnership between the company, state government and local and regional officials, who have worked tirelessly on this project for months," Gov. Walker said.
"This is a sweet day for Kenosha County," added Kenosha County Executive Jim Kreuser. "HARIBO's decision to invest in our community and make this the location for its first U.S. production facility will have a tremendous impact on our county and our state. We are incredibly excited about this investment and the long-term positive impact it will have on our entire area and residents."
"HARIBO's decision to choose southeastern Wisconsin for its first North American production facility is a breakthrough achievement for Wisconsin," said Gale Klappa, chairman of WEC Energy Group and co-chair of the Milwaukee 7. "The HARIBO 'Gold-Bear' brand is known and beloved worldwide, and southeastern Wisconsin will soon be home to one of the largest, most sophisticated confectionary plants in America. This is the strongest evidence yet that our people, our assets and our business climate are highly attractive to global companies."