Parsippany / NJ. (fg) Ferrero USA Inc., part of the global confectionery company Ferrero Group, broke ground on its new Kinder Bueno production facility in Bloomington, Illinois. The USD 214.4 million investment will add 200 new jobs to Ferrero’s existing manufacturing footprint in Bloomington. State and local leaders, including Governor JB Pritzker, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin, Bloomington Mayor Mboka Mwilambwe, and Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Director Sylvia Garcia joined Ferrero executives in a ceremony to celebrate the milestone.
«This investment will fuel our momentum in North America, a strategic growth area for Ferrero. Enhancing our manufacturing capabilities in the market is key to driving our innovation agenda and advancing Ferrero’s goal of becoming a world leader in snacks and confectionery,» said Alanna Cotton, President and Chief Business Officer of Ferrero North America. «We’re grateful for the strong partnerships we have with state and local leaders here, and proud that our expansion is part of Bloomington’s amazing success story.»
The new facility will support the North American growth of Kinder Bueno, which Ferrero launched in the market in 2019 and has since made it the #7 brand in the category, growing by 26 percent since last year. The expansion represents the first time Kinder products will be made in North America.
«Central Illinois sits in the heart of our nation, so it’s only fitting that it serves as the heart of Ferrero’s North American operations: CRUNCH, 100 Grand, Raisinets, and now Kinder Bueno, all made right here,» said Illinois Governor JB Pritzker. «This expansion is a testament to Illinois’ quality workforce and reputation on the global stage, and especially the quality workforce right here in Central Illinois. I want to thank the entire Ferrero team for their partnership. Here’s to years of success for Ferrero and economic prosperity for the entire Bloomington-Normal metro area.»
«Ferrero’s expansion here shows why Illinois is the hub of America’s food and confections industry. Our incredible workers and world-class infrastructure are fueling innovation and growth,» said U.S. Senator Dick Durbin. «We thank Ferrero for making our state their chocolate manufacturing home in America – these investments are playing an important role in Illinois’ continued economic success.»
«Chocolate can evoke memories of trick or treating or a special dessert, but this time, chocolate is also driving jobs to Illinois,» said U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth. «I’m excited that Ferrero is investing in central Illinois’ economy and Bloomington’s working families, and soon, Illinois will have the distinction of being home to the first Kinder production center in North America. I’m looking forward to a sweet future of workforce development after today’s groundbreaking.»
«This groundbreaking is a logical step in what has been a series of transformational investments by Ferrero in our community,» said Bloomington Mayor Mboka Mwilambwe. «Beyond providing jobs, Ferrero has been a wonderful community partner, supporting community events and organizations. We look forward to a prosperous future together.»
This groundbreaking represents the latest milestone in Ferrero’s growth and investment in North America over the past few years. A chocolate processing facility is currently under construction on the company’s Bloomington campus, and it recently expanded its capacity in its Brantford, Ontario Plant. In 2023 the company is slated to open a new Innovation Center that will include new R+D labs and offices for its cookies, cones, and crusts brand teams in Chicago. Ferrero’s North American presence now totals more than 4,400 employees in eight offices and twelve plants and warehouses in the U.S., Canada, and the Caribbean.
Ghafari Associates provided architectural and engineering design services for the bid documents associated with the production facility. Additionally, Ghafari will provide technical support and on-site construction supervision. The Austin Company is Ferrero’s design-build partner responsible for the engineering and construction of the project.
The new facility, which will add 169,000 square feet to Ferrero’s existing manufacturing campus in Bloomington, is slated to open in 2024.