Made in Kansas: Chocolate wonderland at a Topeka factory

Even from the outside, you can tell that Topeka’s Mars North America plant is a spectacular facility. I made my way inside to meet with Bret Spangler and Gavin Kueber, who were my guides for the day.

After gearing up, they gave me a quick understanding of how the M&M-making process works.

“So we bring the peanuts from our supplier, we bring that peanut process in here and we actually do the roasting process here locally. From that roasting process is actually where we go in and coat it with chocolate. So once it’s actually coated several different times, we then go into a first coat process, where we’re actually apply a sugar application and trying to get the coating to be very, very robust. Then once it gets through that process it goes into what we call the last sugar shelling process, which is where it starts to get some gloss and the color. Then it actually goes from there to the blending process. From blending, it goes to printing where each M&M is printed with the ‘m’ on it,” explains Kueber.

This is truly a high-tech facility. M&Ms by the thousands move their way down the belts, through the hoppers, the packaging machines and down the line. From the outside, M&Ms may all look the same, but the soft-centered M&Ms are only made here at the Topeka plant, which means your favorites like Caramel…are a local treat. From this plant, these candy favorites are shipped out all over the country.

The plant not only makes soft-centered and peanut M&Ms, but the smaller sized Snickers bars are also produced at Topeka’s Mars facility. So much chocolate…

And, if the smell of the chocolate on Topeka’s south side has you longing for a taste of your own, just head to the nearest store because, hey, they’ll make more.

For more information about employment opportunites, head to their website at: http://www.mars.com/global

– KSNT Storm Track Chief Meteorologist Matt Miller

Timelapse of M&Ms rolling through the line by the thousands.

 

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