San Antonio is now home to a factory that is developing a fast-growing industry: gummy vitamins.
NBTY, a manufacturer of vitamins and nutritional supplements, held its ribbon-cutting Wednesday.
"The gummy vitamins that this plant is producing have just been on fire, from a growth standpoint in this market,” said Jeff Nagel, CEO of NBTY.
According to Nagel, the company needed to quickly find a location with some existing infrastructure.
As it turns out, the former Judson-Atkinson Candy factory on San Antonio’s east side fit the bill.
"So, by finding a facility with some elements of what we needed, we can move a lot faster,” said Nagel.
So far, 45 jobs have been created by the arrival of the factory, some of which went to former Judson-Atkinson Candy employees. NBTY plans on hiring a total of 100 to 150 employees as the factory grows.
"This is a big deal,” said Steve Waters, chairman of the San Antonio Economic Development Foundation. “Manufacturing jobs are hard to come by. It’s fantastic we have it here on the east side."
Currently, the factory, which has been open since May, produces around 5 million gummy vitamins every day.
But, according to Nagel, it has a capacity to produce up to 15 million a day. That equates to nearly 100 million units a month.
The factory will allow NBTY to produce vitamins in-house for its Disney, Sundown Naturals, and Nature’s Bounty lines.
San Antonio officials hope that the business will help attract additional industry to the city’s east side.
"I hope this is a domino -- that we have more people come here to east side,” said Waters. “It's a sector of San Antonio that's very important to our city."