beginning yet another expansion — a new
chocolate production facility.
“Chocolate is an allergen and when
we are producing it, we have to keep
everything separate and shut all other
production down, which is why we want the
separate building,” said Rowland, Jr.
Jelly Belly’s plant typically employs
150 workers and produces 150 different
types of beans. The company as a whole
produces 1,300 SKUs. The products
made in the Thailand plant are shipped to
approximately 65 countries. The plant also
produces all of the chocolate products for
“We are getting to a diversification
stage,” said Rowland, Jr. “We’ve had all our
jelly beans in one basket.”
In total, the plant produces seven
million pounds of candy per year, puts out
approximately 10 tons of beans per day and
has the capacity to produce up to 32,000
pounds of jelly beans per day.
Jelly Belly production starts by combining
sugar, starch and other ingredients together
and cooking the mixture with colors and
flavors in four vessels. The product then
enters the mogul where the Jelly Belly
center is made. Afterwards, this product
goes into a dry room for one-to-three days.
It then gets a sugar bath to develop its
sugar coating in a tumbler.
The beans then move to a finishing
and polishing room to build up their shell.
One operator is responsible for all the
product contained in ten machines and
determines when the shell is complete —
a skill that takes up to three years to learn.
Afterwards, the beans are moved to a tray
storage room where they can stay up to
“It takes seven to ten days to make a
bean, but by the time it gets packaged, it
can be 30 days,” said Don Helton, general
manager of the Thailand plant.
That’s because the shell needs time
to cure and firm up before beans are
ready to be bagged, otherwise they will
sweat, which can cause quality issues.
When QA determines the beans are
ready, the product is sent to one of 12
As for other future investments in
addition to the planned expansion, the
company is considering adding an
automated six-kettle line to increase
Japanese drug and nutraceutical
producer Otsuka Group first expanded
internationally in 1973 when it opened
operations both in Thailand and the U.S.
Worldwide, the company employs 45,000
people and 2,000 of those workers staff
seven Thai factories. It is the third-largest
pharmaceutical company in Japan.
Split into two divisions —
pharmaceutical and nutraceutical — 70
percent of the company’s revenue comes
from its drug side. However, Otsuka sees its
nutraceutical products, including its popular
hydration and electrolyte replacement
Located in Thailand’s southeast industrial development corridor about two
hours from Bangkok is the only Jelly Belly plant located outside of the U.S.
Jelly Belly’s Thailand plant employs approximately 150 workers and produces
150 different types of jelly beans.
Jelly Belly has expanded three times in its decade-long history in Thailand. Now
it’s beginning yet another expansion — a new chocolate production facility.