Here’s what Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory would cost to run today

Paramount Pictures

If you’re a fan of Willy Wonka, it’s probably safe to assume you dreamed of winning a golden ticket and touring his candy factory when you were a kid, right? As an adult—although you’d mostly likely still love a tour—perhaps other things run through your head when you see the candy magnate’s “world of pure imagination.”

Like, you know, how on earth does this guy afford a factory this elaborate and how much does this all cost?!

Lucky for us, the folks at Advanced Technology Services, a company that works with other businesses to make them run more efficiently, have wondered about this, too. Researchers there dissected the factory from Roald Dahl’s classic story “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and calculated just how much his world would cost if it was real today, putting it all in a wonderfully colorful infographic.

The breakdown includes everything from energy costs to a healthcare plan for the Oompa Loompas! Take a look at the findings below.

Advanced Technology Services

As you can see, running Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory doesn’t come cheap. The energy costs alone for keeping the lights on while pumping out all those oversized lollipops and Scrumdiddlyumptious bars would be somewhere around $2 million. And if Wonka wanted to go green—which he probably would in 2018—it would cost him about $2.37 billion just to install enough solar panels.

Of course, you also need factory workers, which is where the lovable, yet slightly creepy, Oompa Loompas come in. Wonka would spend about $73 million for their salaries, which averages about $50,000 a year. On top of that, he’d have to fork over about $8 million per year for an Oompa Loompa healthcare plan. With all their hard work and choreographed musical numbers, we’d say that’s a steal!

Of course, energy and employees are costs other factories would have as well, but what about all those extras that make Wonka’s factory so magical? Everything that makes the factory what it is, as you can imagine, really drives up the price.

The chocolate river, for example? Well, that needs about 150,000 gallons of chocolate, which would run Wonka about $32.6 million. If Wonka wanted to stay in tune with today’s trends and switch to organic chocolate, the river’s cost would be bumped to about $47.1 million.

How about that lickable wallpaper that looks so germ-filled, yet somehow delicious? That’d cost about $2,600 for just 653 square feet of hallway.

But neither the river nor walls are the most expensive luxury in the factory. It’s the famous flying glass elevator, which would cost about $109 million when you combine the cost of an elevator with a low-end rocket. If Wonka wanted to be even fancier and go with a premium rocket, it’d cost more like $10 billion.

When it’s all said and done, the cost to run Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory comes to $224.6 million per year, according to Advanced Technology Services. Wonka’s company is worth much more, however, with an estimated valuation at around $21.5 billion—which is actually pretty close to what Kraft paid for the chocolate company Cadbury in 2010.

Of all the treats made at Willy Wonka’s factory, which one would you most want to try?

About the Author

Kaitlin Gates

Kaitlin is a freelance multimedia journalist with a degree in journalism and psychology. Along with Don't Waste Your Money, she also writes for Simplemost, where she covers new product and food launches and overall general news. You can email her at or find her on Facebook at More.

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