(Reuters) - Mars Inc said on Wednesday it is on track to open its first chocolate plant in India, where its popular Snickers and Galaxy bars will be made to meet growing demand.

Mars International India, a wholly owned subsidiary of Mars Inc, signed a memorandum of understanding with the Maharashtra government in Mumbai for a $160 million plant in Pune, Maharashtra.

The "chocolate industry in India is growing at nearly 20 percent every year and we see this as a huge opportunity to expand our chocolate portfolio in the country in the coming years," said MV Natarajan, general manager of Mars International India, in a release.

Mars India currently imports chocolate and manufactures its Pedigree and Whiskas pet care products.

U.S.-based Mars Inc is the third biggest confectionery business globally behind Nestle SA and Mondelez International, the maker of Cadbury, according to Euromonitor International.