The new technologically advanced chocolate making facility features proprietary, state-of-the-art technology never before used in the manufacture of confections, including a highly automated, large-scale Hershey's Kisses Chocolate line, which can produce more than 70 million Hershey's Kisses Chocolates per day. The plant's advanced Information Technology systems include automated, real-time diagnostics systems to help keep operations running smoothly 24 hours a day.
The expanded West Hershey facility is one of the company's largest capital investments, $300 million, and represents one of the largest construction projects in Pennsylvania in two decades. "Today, we are celebrating our proud Pennsylvania heritage, the growing popularity of Hershey products in global markets, our continuing investments in productive technology and our great workers who make it possible to enjoy these iconic products," said John P. Bilbrey, president and CEO, The Hershey Co., in a prepared statement.
"Hershey employees built this dynamic business during the first century of chocolate making in Hershey starting in 1905. Today, we honor each of those individuals and our history and applaud those who designed, built and operate our Factory of the Future. They continue to produce the finest chocolate confectionery right here in Hershey, Pa., where it all began. Together, we are securing the next century of growth for this iconic company."
As a major employer in the state, the West Hershey plant is expected to contribute more than $1 billion to the economy of Pennsylvania over the next five years through supplier contracts, payroll and related spending.