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      New candy plant proves we still have our sweet tooth

      TOPEKA, Kansas-- Americans apparently aren't losing their taste for chocolate.

      Mars Inc. is throwing a grand opening Thursday for a new $270 million plant in Kansas that will produce millions of chocolate bars and other sweets every day.

      Company officials say the plant exists mostly to meet U.S. demand for its M&M's- and Snickers-brand candy. It's the first new Mars plant in North America in 35 years.

      The plant will have the capacity to produce 14 million bite-sized Snickers bars and 39 million M&M's each day.

      Local and state officials will join the company at the grand opening of the 500,000-square-foot plant, which they also see as a sweet deal. The plant is bringing about 200 jobs to the Topeka area.