Ferrero North America will invest up to $214.4 million to expand its Bloomington, Ill., chocolate processing and product manufacturing plant.
The company will add 200 jobs through this development, which will be completed and open in 2024. The 169,000-square-foot addition will be dedicated to producing Kinder Bueno, a Ferrero chocolate bar that launched in the U.S. in 2019.
Construction is projected to start in the fall and will result in one of the largest production lines built by Ferrero outside of Europe.
“The investments we’re making in Bloomington are fueling continued growth for Ferrero in North America and are also creating important job opportunities in the community,” said Todd Siwak, president and chief business officer of Ferrero North America. “We are thrilled to continue growing here with the invaluable support of the City of Bloomington, McLean County, and the State of Illinois.”
The announcement comes months after Ferrero broke ground on a chocolate processing facility at the same location where operations are expected to begin in 2023.
“Just months after Ferrero broke ground on its first-ever U.S. chocolate processing facility in Illinois, the establishment of the Kinder Bueno production line is a testament to Illinois’ talented workforce and reputation on the global stage,” said Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker. “We thank Ferrero for its vote of confidence in Illinois and for bringing more opportunity and jobs to the Bloomington-Normal region.”
“We’re excited to see our relationship with Ferrero North America continue to grow, along with the company’s footprint here in Bloomington,” said Bloomington Mayor Mboka Mwilambwe. “Increasing the Ferrero labor force with our homegrown talent truly shows the company’s commitment to central Illinois.”
The new line will manufacture Kinder Bueno bars and minis, bringing the production of Kinder products into North America for the first time ever. The bar launched in the U.S. market to much acclaim and is now a $167 million brand in North America, growing more than 51% over the past year.
“We are elevating the treating experience with Kinder Bueno’s unique mix of flavors and textures and American consumers have really embraced that,” said Catherine Bertrac, senior vice president of marketing for Kinder at Ferrero North America. “Being able to make Kinder Bueno right here in North America will help us build on our tremendous momentum and continue meeting consumer demand.”
Ferrero has made significant investments in North America, including the expansion of its Parsippany headquarters and the establishment of new distribution centers in Pennsylvania, Arizona and Georgia.