Chicago loses Mars Wrigley US candy headquarters bid to New Jersey, takes 200 jobs with it
A year after announcing the Mars Wrigley Confectionery project, the candy giant will scrap its plans to expand its Chicago presence and instead encamp in Newark, New Jersey.
Chicago, home to Mars Wrigley Confectionery’s global headquarters, has lost out on a deal that would have entailed the leading sweets brand basing its U.S. headquarters in the Windy City. According to the Chicago Tribune, Newark, New Jersey will instead be hosting Mars Wrigley’s central U.S. site.
The decision will require outsourcing 200 existing Chicago jobs to New Jersey, most of which will be absorbed by the new Newark plant, while others will go to existing offices in Hackettstown. Mars Wrigley’s global headquarters, as well as Mars Food’s North American offices will reportedly remain in Chicago. These offices, together with Mars’s five Chicago factories, account for 2,400 jobs.
Had Mars chosen to settle in Chicago, however, the city would have netted 370 jobs from the New Jersey offices.
Greg Klinzman, a spokesman for Mayor Rahm Emanuel told the Tribune in an email, “We look forward to continuing to work closely with the company, across its many business lines, to continue to increase its presence in Chicago.”
The decision comes one year after the Mars, Inc. first unveiled the integration of its Mars Chocolate and Mars Wrigley segments, thus establishing Mars Wrigley Confectionary. The Mars Wrigley Confectionary rubric oversees familiar chocolate and chewing gum brands such as Snickers, M&Ms and Orbit.
“Mars Wrigley Confectionery brings together two great businesses,” Wrigley Global President Martin Radvan said in a press release at the time, “strengthening our ability to create win-win relationships with our customers and improving our opportunities to address dynamic retail and consumer trends together.”
The loss comes on the heels of a short string of success Chicago has found striking notable deals with some other big-name enterprises. Grocery delivery service Peapod announced plans in October to relocate its suburban headquarters in the city, bringing with it 300 jobs. Walgreens also opted to invest in the Windy City raising its Chicago workforce by 300, migrating jobs from Deerfield, Illinois.
In contrast to the statewide trend, Chicago has managed to attract a stream of gainful employment, though it still lags behind the national economy by some measures. The Mars Wrigley decision disrupts this hopeful trajectory. In the meantime, the city waits in anticipation for the verdict on its ambitious Amazon bid.