What Would It Cost to Operate Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory?

It’s hard not to love the magical world that Roald Dahl created in his iconic children’s book, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Most of us have daydreamed about what it would have been like to win a golden ticket and go on a tour of Willy Wonka’s factory.
But how much exactly would that world cost? How much would the Wonka company be worth? How much would the Oompa Loompas get paid? We dissected every element of Mr. Dahl’s story to calculate the costs of bringing his world of pure imagination to life today.  Here’s how things added up.

As it turns out, it’s quite expensive to run Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. We estimate that the yearly energy costs for the factory would be $2 million. If Willy Wonka wanted to go green and power his factory using solar energy, it would take approximately 3,221 solar panels to supply about 1,180,692 kWH per year, which would cost a whopping $2.37 billion.
In addition to the costs of keeping the building running, Wonka certainly spares no expense when it comes to the “wow” factor in his factory. By our estimations, the famous chocolate river needs 150,000 gallons of chocolate, which would come out to a staggering cost of $32.6 million (which includes the cost of purchasing and running the pump to ensure the chocolate is flowing). If Wonka wanted to get more food-conscious customers and go organic, he would be looking at a cost of $47.1 million to keep the river flowing.
Some of Wonka’s other luxuries like the lickable wallpaper (about $2,600 to cover 653 square feet of hallway) and a golden goose egg (about $6,032 each) are less expensive but still add up. The most luxurious and expensive item in Wonka’s factory would be his flying glass elevator, which we estimate would cost about $109 million when you combine the costs of an average elevator and a low-end market rocket from Lockheed Martin. If Wonka ever wanted to up the ante and go with a premium rocket (like Elon Musk’s SpaceX BFR), his costs would skyrocket to about $10 billion.
And what about the Oompa Loompas? Thankfully Wonka takes pretty good care of his trusted employees, spending about $8 million per year on their healthcare and about $73 million per year for their salaries, which average about 50k per year. Also, if Mr. Wonka wanted to boost morale and treat the Oompa Loompas to Taco Tuesday every week, we estimate it would cost about $25,000 each time (hey those guys work hard!).
In total, it looks like Mr. Wonka and co. are looking at a grand total of $224.6 million to keep the factory running each year. These costs may be exorbitant, and we can think of a few ways to pare down, but what fun would that be?
So after all of these enormous costs to run the chocolate factory, what is the company’s worth? We estimate that Mr. Wonka’s company is worth $21.5 billion, which is about on par with what the chocolate mogul, Cadbury, is worth.
Would you want to work in the Wonka Chocolate Factory? Let us know in the comments!

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