The plant in the southern state of Johor marks the single-largest investment in Asia since the Hershey, Pa.-based company set foot in the region 18 years ago. Like other global food firms, Hershey is seeking to tap into surging demand for discretionary food items in developing nations in Asia.
Hershey expects the plant to be ready in early 2015. The company currently has nine plants in the U.S. as well as facilities in Canada, Mexico, India, Brazil and China. "Our new Malaysia plant will complement production at our existing joint-venture plant in China," Terence O'Day, Hershey's senior vice president and chief supply chain officer, said in a statement.
Production capacity details weren't mentioned but the statement said the plant will produce four of Hershey's five global brands, including "millions of Hershey's Kisses" each day.
Hershey is expanding in Asia as part of an ambitious global goal to achieve $10 billion in annual revenue by 2017. International sales is expected to reach about $1 billion by end of 2014, the company said.
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