Do you know how much water it takes to make a piece of Halloween candy? Producing just one bar of chocolate requires 317 gallons of water.  Fortune estimates Americans will spend $2.6 billion on Halloween candy – that equates to a hefty amount of water for manufacturing.  In order to sustain limited water resources, candy and snack manufacturers across the world are assessing their water footprint and implementing water conservation strategies – some of which even include water reuse.
Hershey, a company known for its iconic Hershey’s Kiss and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, identified areas to cut water use and set a goal to reduce overall water consumption by an additional 25% (from its existing 70% reduction since 2009) by the year 2025. The company implemented various innovative projects to reduce both water use and waste production. One of these projects includes the installation of new water purification systems that are anticipated to recover 13 million gallons of well water annually. 
Even those delicious pumpkin spice Oreos (or peppermint if you’re thinking ahead) require water to manufacture. Mondelez International, the world’s largest snack company known for brands like Oreo, Chips Ahoy and Cadbury, plans to reduce water consumption by 10% at facilities located in water restricted regions by 2020. In addition, it plans to cut overall waste by 20%. “Our Sustainability 2020 initiatives on energy, water and waste reduction will improve efficiency and create the fuel to accelerate growth,” said Hubert Weber, Executive Vice President and President of Mondelez Europe in a press release. 
Similarly, Mars set out to reach 25% water use reduction by 2015. Although it did not reach its initial goal, Mars reduced its water use by an impressive 17%. One of Mars’s main facilities in the United States was even able to cut water use by 27 percent as facility production rose by 21%. With nearly half of its locations in water stressed areas, Mars is focusing its efforts to continuously improve water sustainability. In a popular UK plant, over 40% of water use was cut by implementing a water reclamation strategy that reuses rainwater. Mars is looking to implement a similar strategy at its Pennsylvania factory. 
Other large manufacturers such as Haribo, Lindt and Nestle have implemented comparable water sustainability and reduction goals.  As our water sources are continuously threatened by a multitude of factors, manufacturers across the globe are taking action to address one of the world’s largest concerns – water availability. As stated by Nestle, “We are improving our efficiency, quality and environmental performance throughout our manufacturing operations. This translates into doing more with fewer resources and less waste to help preserve natural resources.” 
Published 10/27/2016 The Hershey Company. Environmental Sustainability. The Hershey Company, N.D. Web. https://www.thehersheycompany.com/en_us/responsibility/good-business/environmental-sustainability.html  Galarza, Daniela. It Takes 317 Gallons of Water to Produce a Bar of Chocolate. Los Angeles Magazine, January 31, 2014. Web. http://www.lamag.com/digestblog/it-takes-317-gallons-of-water-to-produce-a-bar-of-chocolate/  Austin, Christina. See the crazy amount we’re spending on Halloween this year. Fortune Magazine, October 28, 2015. Web. http://archive.fortune.com/2015/halloween-money-spending-numbers/?iid=sr-link6  Mondelez International. Mondelez International Accelerates Action on Climate Change With New 2020 Global Sustainability Goals. Mondelez International, October 21, 2015. Web. http://ir.mondelezinternational.com/releasedetail.cfm?releaseid=937669  Mars. Water Impacts: Taking Responsibility for our Resource Use. Mars, Incorporated and its Affiliates, 2016. Web. http://www.mars.com/GLOBAL/SUSTAINABILITY/OPERATIONS/WATER-IMPACT  Nestle. Manufacturing. Nestle, 2016. Web. http://www.nestle.com/csv/environmental-sustainability/product-life-cycle/manufacturing  Haribo. Water. Haribo, 2016. Web. https://www.haribo.com/enGB/company/corporate-responsibility/our-environment/water.html  Lindt & Sprüngli. Water Consumption. Lindt & Sprüngli, 2016. Web. http://www.lindt-spruengli.com/sustainability/sustainably-produced/water-consumption/