Food

Ferrero unwraps first chocolate factory in North America

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Dive Brief:

  • Ferrero North America opened its first chocolate processing facility in North America and third ever globally in Bloomington, Illinois, on May 7, according to a company press release.
  • The 70,000-square-foot expansion will be on Ferrero’s existing manufacturing campus in Bloomington, which manufactures Crunch, 100 Grand and Raisinets, as well as now Kinder Bueno, Ferrero Rocher and Butterfinger. 
  • The company initially broke ground on the Bloomington factory in October 2021, and said the project would create 50 new jobs and cost $75 million, according to the 2021 release.

Dive Insight:

The expansion is one step closer to the Italy-based chocolate maker’s goal of becoming “the sweets and treats leader in the market,” Alanna Cotton, president and chief business officer of Ferrero North America, said in a statement.

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This investment marks an expansion of Ferrero’s presence in Illinois, adding to its existing manufacturing plants in Franklin Park and Chicago, where it manufactures Butterfinger and Baby Ruth products. The confectionery company also opened an innovation center and R&D lab last year. 

Moreover, Ferrero announced it’s building a $214 million Kinder Bueno production facility on the Bloomington campus, which is expected to create 200 jobs when it opens later this year, the release stated.

In addition to new projects in Illinois, the company recently invested in new capacity and capabilities for its Brantford, Ontario, plant and added distribution centers in Pennsylvania, Georgia and Arizona, the release stated. The company also invested in research for Oregon’s hazelnut growers, as the state produces 99% of the nation’s crop, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Ferrero’s North American presence now totals more than 5,100 employees across eight offices and twelve plants with warehouses in the U.S., Canada and the Caribbean, according to the release.

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