Joy Cone, a food processing manufacturer in Mercer County, will expand its cookie manufacturing operations to meet increasing market demand for cookie and wafer products, state officials announced Friday.

The expansion is Joy Cone’s second significant capital investment in the region in less than three years and will support the combined creation and retention of more than 400 full-time jobs.

“The food manufacturing industry is thriving in Pennsylvania,” Gov. Tom Wolf said. “The commonwealth’s partnership with Joy Cone will help them meet consumer demand, create jobs in Mercer County, and produce sweets and treats to be enjoyed worldwide.”

As part of the expansion, Joy Cone will invest in a new, high output wafer line. This will fund the purchases of new machinery and equipment, and employee retainment and training, positioning their Pennsylvania operations for long-term growth.

Joy Cone received a funding proposal from the Department of Community and Economic Development for the project. The proposal includes a $450,000 Pennsylvania First grant, a comprehensive funding tool to facilitate increased investment and job creation within the commonwealth. The company has pledged to invest more than $10 million in the project and create and retain at least 400 full-time jobs over the next three years.

“Given the growing demand for our product, we knew we needed to purchase this new equipment quickly, and this grant is a tremendous help as we manage this significant capital cost,” said David George, the president and CEO of Joy Cone. “We are excited for this new phase as we continue to grow our operations in Western Pennsylvania.”

Pennsylvania is known as the "Snack Food Capital of the World." With major producers of pretzels, potato chips, confectioneries, and chocolate, Pennsylvania's snack food and confectionery industries generate more than $5.1 billion in sales annually. The commonwealth’s 2,300 food-processing companies are number one among the 50 United States in the value of shipments of canned fruit and vegetable specialty products, chocolate and cocoa products, potato chips, and pretzels.

Established in 1918 and operating at its existing Mercer County location since 1964, legacy manufacturing company Joy Cone is a leading supplier of cones, wafers, and ice cream inclusions for retail, food services, and industrial/dairy markets in North America. Hermitage is home to Joy Cone’s headquarters and two production facilities that create product for their own label and for the private label market. Major customers of Joy Cone include Walmart, Kroger, Aldi, McDonald’s, Dairy Queen, and Unilever.

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