A look inside the Mars Wrigley Confectionery in Waco

Published: Nov. 7, 2018 at 10:54 PM CST
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You may know Waco as home to the Baylor Bears, but its also home to some of the sweetest creations.

The Mars Wrigley Confectionery may look like any basic factory, but the smell is unlike any other.

"We run into people in the community and they talk about we smelled your plant this morning. Smelt the chocolate you were making or smelt the fruit flavor from the rainbow skittles,” Mars Wrigley Confectionery, Plant Director, Dan Braswell said.

Mars Wrigley has been in operation for more than 100 years, but it was back in the 70's that the company set up shop in Waco.

“So we started this operation back in 1976 making Starburst and Snickers. And we've continued to grow all those great brands around Skittles, Starburst and Snickers in this facility"

The plant in Waco produces over 65 percent of all the Snickers all over North America, 80 percent of all the Skittles and 100 percent of all the Starburst in North America.

How they make each candy is top secret, but we were able to get a little taste of part of the process.

“We do make all our products from start to finish, so we bring in all our own raw products like coco, like the great flavorings we have in our products. We blend all those products up,” Braswell said.

Each Skittle you eat is wrapped with 43 layers of candy, then marked with signature "s", sorted and packaged.

And how do they pack all that juice into their Starbursts?

Foot after foot of fruity taffy cut perfectly into squares, then wrapped and sorted.

Of course the best part, like many of the workers, KENS 5 got to try the much anticipated new duo Starburst that combines two flavors into one.

"We absolutely taste our product. It's great to work for a great confection company," Braswell said.

We followed our noses to the final area of the plant where each year $75 million pounds of chocolate is poured into the signature Snickers bars.

That led us to another top secret find.

The new line of creamy Snickers which replaces the whole peanuts with butters like almond and peanut.

"Our consumer is changing a lot. They are requiring more innovation, they are requiring more packaging types, they are requiring different products and at a certain pace," Braswell said.

But despite the growth and evolution of the candy you can always bet that Texas made, Starburst, Skittles and Snickers won’t disappoint.

“We are proud to have three of the top ten confectionary products in the United States and to make those right here in Waco... Again, we are Waco made Texas proud,” Braswell said.