CHICAGO (CBS) -- A southwest suburban candy plant will be able to make a lot more Skittles, thanks to 75 new employees and a massive expansion of its production lines.
The Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co. has opened a new $50 million expansion of its plant in Yorkville, creating an extra 450,000 square feet to allow the candy company to produce more Skittles.
Wrigley Americas President Casey Keller said Skittles have become the top-selling non-chocolate candy in the U.S.
"We need more Skittles. I mean, we produce about 50 billion Skittles in the U.S. every year, and we need more," Keller said.
He said part of the appeal of Skittles is the mix of flavors.
"We call it kind of expect the unexpected," he said. "My favorite actually is, I have to say, the original. So I'm a loyalist, I'm a traditionalist, I love the Skittles original, always have, but I eat everything. I'll eat any Skittles put in front of me."
The Yorkville plant already had more than 300 employees who also produce Wrigley gum and Life Savers mints.
Keller said the plant in Waco, Texas, still makes more Skittles, but it was obvious there was a need to make more of the colorful fruit-flavored candies.
"We have a campaign called Taste the Rainbow. It's a marketing advertising campaign that's been out there since 1988," he said.
Keller said it was important for the company to expand in Illinois, because Wrigley has called the state home for 125 years.
Wrigley is a subsidiary of Mars, which also produces M&Ms, Twix, Dove, 3 Musketeers, Snickers, Milky Way, and of course Wrigley's gums.
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