In a press release today, Governor Tony Evers announced that the German candy company Haribo will be starting construction of a manufacturing facility in Southeast Wisconsin later this year.
Local officials say they’re looking forward to the economic benefits the production campus will bring.
After roughly three years of planning, the Village of Pleasant Prairie will be the home of the first Haribo production facility in North America. According to Micahel Pollocoff, a trustee on the Pleasant Prairie Village board, Haribo has found a general contractor, and will begin initial construction soon.
“It’s been a major project for them, and it’s been a major project for the village of Pleasant Prairie as well,” Pollocoff says.
The site is next to a major highway, and had been prepared for a facility for medical device company Abbott Labs until that fell through several years ago.
According to a Haribo press release, the facility will have 385 full-time employees, and claims that it will also create an additional 4,200 indirect jobs.
Nathan Thiel, the Village Administrator for Pleasant Prairie, says that Haribo has a four phase plan for the facility, although currently it’s only committed to the first.
“Phase one construction is going to include that 487,000 square foot production building, and then there’s going to be a warehouse and administrative offices,” Thiel says.
According to Thiel, later phases would include expansions to existing facilities, an additional distribution facility, and an experience center for visitors.
Pollocoff hopes these future expansions could help replace the tourism lost from the recently shut down Jelly Belly facility.
“It’s amazing how much demand there is for a place like that,” Pollocoff.
Missy Hughes, Secretary and CEO of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, which helped broker the deal between Pleasant Prairie and Haribo, says candy production will likely start in 2022.
“I’ve met with the Haribo officials and they’re really excited to be coming to Wisconsin, their market is growing like crazy,” Hughes says.
Although Thiel says there’s no specific timetable for the full four phase buildout, Pollocoff expects it will take roughly a decade, barring any major economic declines.
(photo credit: Joe States)