TOPEKA (KSNT) – Candy is a huge part of the Halloween tradition, and one local company is working hard to make sure Topeka, and the rest of the country, have enough sweet snacks.
The Mars Wrigley Plant in Topeka produces more “fun-sized” chocolate candy bars than anywhere in the country, making them the nation’s Halloween headquarters. They recently expanded the facility, increasing candy production.
“We’re adding a new line for Milky Way and 3 Musketeers,” Site Director Brian Pardo said. “We’ve also added some capacity for Snickers. All the product we make is minis and fun-sized, so it all goes into your Halloween trick-or-treat bags.”
Candy sales are on the rise in 2023. According to a report from the National Retail Foundation, they expect $3.6 billion in candy sales nationwide, a 16% increase from 2022. Mars Wrigley in Topeka plays a major role in that.
“We start looking out two years ahead for Halloween to make sure we make enough of the right candy mix and the right amount for Halloween,” Pardo said. “Here in Topeka, we’ve hired 200 people here in the last year. We’re up to about 600 associates now. And so they’re all here dedicated to make Halloween a real party for everybody.”
Mini candy bars aren’t the only Halloween option. One local candy shop says it’s seen an uptick in special requests.
“We do a lot of custom baskets for events and things like that,” Toot Sweet store manager Teagan Biber said. “A lot of those have skyrocketed, people have been buying candy baskets and I’m sure you’ve seen on Tik Tok the boo baskets that have been really popular, so we try to do those.”