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Some of Australia’s most beloved chocolates including Snickers and Maltesers being made in China

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Some of Australia’s most beloved chocolates including Snickers and Maltesers being made in China

June 29
07:34 2020

Australians have hit out at at chocolate giant Mars after discovering some of the nation’s most popular chocolate bars are now being made overseas, including in China and Egypt.

Mars – the nation’s second largest confectionery manufacturer – has made brands including Maltesers, Twix, M&Ms and Snickers for the Australian market for more than 40 years.

But a Daily Mail Australia investigation has found just three of Mars’ products on a standard supermarket shelf now claim to be made Down Under.

Other products say they have been made in China, the Netherlands and Egypt – while some would not even specify the country of manufacture.

Twix bars for the Australian market are produced in the African country – where Mars announced they were investing $83million in 2013 to build a production line in Cairo.

It is not known how long the products have been made in overseas countries but eagle-eyed customers made the discovery recently before claiming they tasted nothing like the originals on Facebook.

Chocolate manufacturer Mars has prompted outrage from customers for making some of their most popular brands in China (pictured M&Ms blocks, which are made in China).

Pictured: Daily Mail Australia news reporter Brittany Chain enjoys a Maltesers Teasers chocolate bar – which launched last year and is also manufactured in China.

Maltesers and M&Ms bars – which were launched globally in 2013 and 2017 – are made in China, although the classic ball-shaped Maltesers are still made at Mars’ Ballarat facility in Victoria.

The company has also shifted production of its Snickers bars to a Chinese factory while its normal production line in Ballarat is being upgraded.

‘The Snickers line at our factory in Ballarat is currently undergoing an upgrade and Snickers production has moved to our China facility while we make this important investment,’ Mars Australia said in a statement in November.

Lolly manufacturer Allens – whose factory is in Melbourne – says its ‘ingredients are sourced from suppliers all around the world’.

An investigation by Daily Mail Australia found while some Mars products were made in Australia, others were manufactured in Egypt, China (right) and the Netherlands

Customers criticising the company moving production overseas said they were ‘sacrificing Australian jobs in the pursuit of higher profits’.

A spokesman for Mars-Wrigley Australia told Daily Mail Australia the company remained committed to manufacturing its products domestically.

‘We continue to manufacture our much-loved Maltesers, M&Ms, Pods, Mars, and Milky Way products at our Ballarat factory in regional Victoria,’ the spokesman said.

‘To ensure we can continue to manufacture our products in Australia, we continue to invest in the factory, this includes ongoing upgrades to our Snickers manufacturing line.

It comes as 600,000 jobs are lost across Australia during the coronavirus pandemic and the unemployment rate jumps to 6.2 per cent.

Customers of the popular brands have accused Mars of sacrificing Australian jobs in the pursuit of higher profits by moving manufacturing overseas.

‘What a horrific thought – you probably saved 10 cents to make this … you have no issue cutting jobs in Australia just to save a few cents,’ one dissatisfied Maltesers customer wrote.

The manufacturer’s M&Ms chocolate block – which was first launched in Australia in 2017 and is also made in China – also drew the ire of customers.

Mars Australia’s Twix bar is also made in Egypt before being imported to the company’s Australian facility in Ballarat, Victoria

‘The new taste is horrible. Everyone can tell,’ one said on discussion forum Whirlpool, while one complained that the product ‘didn’t even taste like chocolate’.

Eagle-eyed customers have also noticed Mars’ Maltesers bars are manufactured in China rather than domestically

Mars have also admitted Australians eating Twix bars would detect a ‘subtle change’ in the sweet treat.

‘Twix is now made using the global signature recipe and has a more satisfying crunch in its biscuit, alongside the chewy, creamy caramel; a recipe which is loved by consumers around the world.’

Social media commenters were also unimpressed with the quality of the company’s chocolate overseas, as well as the potential impact on the Australian economy

Snickers said last year it has shifted production of its Snickers bars to a Chinese factory while its production line in Ballarat, Victoria is being upgraded

Mars’ Ballarat factory – which celebrated its 40th year of manufacturing last year – is part of the global Mars Wrigley company headquartered in the US.

The president of the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) Michele O’Neil in April blaming the shift in the Australia’s manufacturing scene on big businesses and the Federal Government who she’s called on to support local businesses.

Mars has said Twix is now being made using a ‘global signature recipe’ and Australians would notice a subtle change in taste.

The Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU) estimates there was once 24,000 tonnes of steel work in Australia, there is now reportedly a mere 860 tonnes.

‘It doesn’t have to be this way. When we get Government policy right, manufacturing thrives in Australia, as we have seen with the Victorian rail projects that are currently underway. There is significant potential for Australian manufacturing to grow and provide people with jobs they can count on in coming years,’ Ms O’Neil told Daily Mail Australia.

‘If the Federal Government supports Australian manufacturing through a coherent industry policy, procurement decisions that support local manufacturers, early adoption of advanced technologies and integrating resources and manufacturing supply chains.’

Pacific Brands Underwear Group manufactured its apparel in New South Wales up until 2009 when it moved production to China.

General Motors-Holden manufactured motors in its Melbourne plant while vehicles were produced at its South Australian facility from 1994 to 2017. The first Holden rolled off the production line at Fisherman’s Bend, in Melbourne, in 1948.

Ford Australia, a branch of the US automaker, ceased production at its Victoria sites in 2016 after declining sales. The cars had been manufactured in the country since 1925.

Toyota Australia, a branch of the Japanese branch, had manufactured cars in Victoria plant in Altona since 1963. The company stopped production 2017.

The last Australian-made Mitsubishi car was made in 2008. The motor company announced it would end producing vehicles out of Adelaide in February 2008 – 28 years after it took over Chrysler’s Australian manufacturing operations.

The last Australian-made fridge was produced in 2016 after Electrolux  announced it would cease production at its NSW plant in 2013 and make the products in Asia and Europe.

The facility had manufactured more than 1,000 refrigerators and freezers a day for various brands including Westinghouse and Kelvinator.

Sidchrome manufactured automotive tools in Melbourne after WWII up until 1996 when the company moved production to Taiwan.

Photography company Kodak closed its Melbourne plant in 2004 after producing film in Australia since 1965.

The nappy company announced in April 2019 it will be shutting its Sydney factory by July. The brand’s nappies and pants will be produced in Asia.

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