Mars Chocolate Mexico is a market that has grown double digits during the past years, with excellent results.
With its second chocolate factory being built in Guanajuato, Mexico, Mars Inc., the producer of such brands as M&M’S, Milky Way and Snickers, plans to double its operations in Mexico and develop new local suppliers to take advantage of a chocolate market valued at 13 billion pesos. Mars’ share of that market is currently 22%.
One of Mars’ strategies will be to sell more of its products through tienditas, Mexico’s Mom & Pop convenience stores, where its penetration is currently just 40%. And most of those products will be the company’s biggest seller – small candy bars of just 100 calories.
Mars currently has four factories in Mexico, making chocolate, candy, chewing gum and pet food. It is investing $160 million USD in the new San José Iturbide, Guanajuato factory, whose principal product will be Snickers bars for the domestic & South American markets.
Mars Mexico’s general manager, Barry O’Sullivan, said that the company aims to boost per capita consumption of chocolate in the country from 600 grams to 1.2 kilograms per year, and forecasts sales growth of 10-12% per year over the next five years. Its growth projections also see its workforce more than doubling to 5,000.
O’Sullivan said a spin-off benefit of the new factory will be the domestic purchase of more ingredients, and Mars is now in the process of developing new local suppliers.
Mars Mexico also plans to open a training center for cocoa producers to encourage growers to share information and improve output. Many are getting yields of 600 kilos per hectare, yet they should be getting closer to 1,200, O’Sullivan said.
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