HERSHEY, PA. — The Hershey Co. further expands its footprint in Asia with a $250 million confectionery plant in Johor, Malaysia. Representing the company’s single-largest investment in the region, the plant will produce Hershey’s Kisses, Ice Breakers, Reese’s and Hershey’s Milk Chocolate bars.

Click here for an infographic courtesy of Hershey detailing its expansion in Asia.

Scheduled for completion in 2015, the 700,000-square foot facility will feature high-speed wrapping machines and innovative candy-making technology.

“Consumers across Asia are discovering a range of Hershey confectionery products, and China in particular is growing faster than any other market,” said Terence O’Day, senior vice-president and chief supply chain officer. “Our new Malaysia plant will feature the latest confectionery manufacturing technology and will complement production at our existing joint venture plant in China. Adding this new manufacturing capacity will put us in a strong position to meet the growing demand for our products across the region.”

The plant’s strategic geographic location enables distribution access to more than 25 markets across Asia, where Hershey has aggressively worked to grow its presence in recent years. Earlier this year, the company announced the launch of Lancaster, a new candy brand in China, marking its first introduction of a completely new brand outside the United States. Hershey also this year opened an Asia Innovation Center in Shanghai, where the company will develop, test and launch new products for consumers in the region.

“We are investing heavily in the region as the middle class continues to grow and consumers increasingly want chocolate and new confectionery products,” said Peter Smit, senior vice-president of Asia, Europe, Middle East and Africa. “Our ability to produce high-quality products tailored to local taste preferences and to meet rapidly growing demand will be keys to our success. We continue to build our iconic brands in the region as China becomes the second-largest market for Hershey in the world.”