HERSHEY, Pa. (WHTM) — The Hershey Company announced on Thursday, Nov. 10, that the construction of a new chocolate-making facility will begin soon.

Construction of the new 250,000-square-foot facility is set to begin in the coming days pending final planning approvals, according to Hershey. The first step of this expansion is to tear down the existing Friendly’s restaurant located at 1000 Reese Ave. in Hershey.

This expansion project is part of an approved multi-year $1 billion investment by the Hershey Company in order to update its supply chain network and increase production. This investment in North American facilities includes:

“Our ability to grow – today and in the future – is rooted in how fast we can make and deliver our products,” said Will Bonifant, vice president, U.S. and Canada supply chain. “We’ve made significant investments over the past few years with new facilities and updates to existing sites to speed production and make more of the iconic brands consumers love.”

According to Hershey, the new facility will be producing iconic candy brands such as Reese’s, Kit Kat, and Hershey’s. This comes as demand for these sweet products has increased substantially since 2019:

  • 5% compounded retail-sales growth in seasonal candies
  • 10% compounded retail-sales growth in Reese’s candies (now the third largest snacking brand in the U.S.)
  • 15% compounded retail-sales growth for snack-size candies

“We are committed to investing to meet the needs of our consumers in collaboration with our retail partners and suppliers,” Bonifant said. “Investing in the strengths of our core brands — made right here in our hometown – will ensure that we’re meeting those consumer needs across a wide variety of snacking occasions and will help fuel future growth.”

The new facility is going to be constructed on a 55-acre lot right next to the company’s Reese’s plant off Route 422, and according to Hershey, it is expected to be completed and operational in early 2024.