500 Mars Wrigley employees headed to Newark site

Mars Wrigley Confectionary U.S. will bring 500 jobs to Newark after it opens an office in Mulberry Commons, the company announced Tuesday.

The jobs will include 300 from the company’s current location in Hackettstown, 100 from an office in Chicago and 100 new jobs, the company told ROI-NJ.

“Newark has experienced record growth over the last decade, and I am thrilled to see Mars take this step that will help further accelerate the continued resurgence of our great city,” U.S. Sen. Cory Booker, a former mayor of the city, told ROI-NJ. “Newark’s highly-educated workforce, robust transportation network, and central location will no doubt help the Mars U.S. Market Headquarters thrive. This decision means hundreds of local jobs returning to Newark, a boost to our regional economy and small businesses, and the opportunity to continue the biggest economic boom in Newark since the 1960s.”

According to a news release, New Jersey will be home to the company’s U.S. headquarters after a transition period, with the 500 employees in Newark expected to all be in place by July 2020, and another 1,000 workers located at the Hackettstown facility. The company’s global headquarters will remain in Chicago.

Mars first opened its doors in Newark in 1941, when M&M’s candies were first created as military rations during World War II. The company moved to its Hackettstown location in 1958 to accommodate growth.

“Creating U.S. offices in New Jersey will allow us to keep driving growth, while also positioning us to retain and attract the future talent needed for our continued success,” Berta de Pablos Barbier, president of Mars Wrigley Confectionery U.S., said in a prepared statement.

(READ MORE from ROI-NJ on Mars Wrigley’s plans for New Jersey.)

Mars Wrigley Confectionery had been offered a 10-year, $31.5 million Grow New Jersey tax incentive by the state Economic Development Authority in November to choose the Newark location, the planned Ironside Newark building, for its new facility. It also applied for an incentive to conduct upgrades at the Hackettstown site.

Mars said thousands of workers will remain in Illinois, both at the Mars Wrigley Confectionery global headquarters and at Mars Food’s U.S. headquarters, as well as several manufacturing sites.

“Mars is proud to have a strong legacy and future across both New Jersey and Illinois,” de Pablos Barbier said. “We are fully committed to working with all of our associates to support them through this transition.”

Mars Chocolate and Wrigley combined in October 2016 to form Mars Wrigley Confectionery. The parent company, Mars Inc., is headquartered in McLean, Virginia.