Mars Chocolate unveils research facility

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Mars Chocolate has opened a state of the art R&D facility. This opening marks Mars Chocolate’s continued investment in UK manufacturing and the new facility demonstrates the company’s commitment to Slough, the birthplace of Mars chocolate in the UK.

The introduction of this world-class centre means that Slough now houses Mars Chocolate’s largest research facility in Europe and will see over 100 R&D Associates working on exciting projects that include new product and packaging development, design, sensory science and longer term science and technology platforms. Critical to Mars Chocolate’s innovation pipeline, the centre will drive the business forward over the next five years and beyond.

Fiona Dawson president of Mars Chocolate UK, hosted the official unveiling which brought together local dignitaries including the Mayor of Slough and local MP, Fiona MacTaggart. The event was marked by the business and enterprise minister, Michael Fallon, embarking on a tour of the factory and new facilities, some of which date back to 1932. Mr Fallon ended his visit by meeting Associates from across Mars Chocolate’s business who described the positive impact that this new site would have on their work.

The facility features state-of-the-art kitchens and laboratories as well as a pilot production line where new product developments will be test-manufactured on a global scale – a first for Mars’ UK operation. The centre will also be responsible for delivering new products to European markets and supporting Mars’ global R&D activities.

Dawson says, “We are very proud to be officially unveiling our new R&D facility today. Slough is the home of Mars chocolate, and this investment demonstrates our passion for innovation and our continued commitment to British manufacturing. 2012 is a very special year for us as we look to the future with our new facility while celebrating 80 years in the UK.”

Fallon notes, “This new centre of excellence will attract world class expertise and be a considerable economic benefit to the local area. It also provides further proof this country and our manufacturing base is worth investing in. Innovation at this factory in Slough will be central to the future success of Mars.

“People keep saying we don’t make anything anymore yet the UK actually makes more from manufacturing than from financial services. This is the reason the Government is making strenuous efforts to raise the profile of manufacturing and redefine its public image. We want our best and brightest young people to see innovative, high-tech, high-value manufacturing as a desirable, rewarding career, with a status to match.”

The Slough Factory on Dundee Road produces many of Mars’ globally successful chocolate brands, including Mars, Snickers, Glaxy, Minstrel, Maltesers aand Revels. These iconic and much loved UK chocolate treats are also exported from Slough across Europe, and as far as China and Australia. The Slough factory produces more than 2.5million Mars Bars every day using the skills of more than 1000 people employed on site.

The opening of the facility is one of many milestones in Mars’ on-going investment in the local area, having committed £75m over the last 5 years to the Dundee Road site. Throughout the two year build period, the project conformed to internationally-recognised BREEAM (BRE Environmental Assessment Method) construction standards and Mars Chocolate fulfilled its zero-waste-to-landfill commitment.

Source: Confectionery Production