Chicago Construction News staff writer
Ferrero North America has announced a $214.4 million expansion at its chocolate processing and product manufacturing plant in Bloomington. The 169,000-sq. ft. addition will be dedicated to producing Kinder Bueno, a premium chocolate bar in Europe that launched in the U.S. in 2019.
Construction is expected to start by Fall 2022 and create up to 200 new jobs over a four-year period. The expansion will be 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 a few months after Ferrero broke ground on a chocolate processing facility at the same location, which is set to begin operating 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 Gov. Pritzker. “We thank Ferrero for its vote of confidence in Illinois and for bringing more opportunity and jobs to the Bloomington-Normal region.”
The new line – which will manufacture Kinder Bueno bars and minis – represents the first time Kinder products will be made in North America. First launched in the market in 2019, Kinder Bueno is now a $167 million brand in North America, growing more than 51% over the past year.
Ferrero has made significant investments in North America, including the expansion of its North American headquarters in New Jersey and establishing new distribution centers in Pennsylvania, Arizona and Georgia. Last fall in Bloomington, the company broke ground on its first ever chocolate processing facility outside Europe, and earlier this year announced an expansion of operations at its plant in Brantford, Ontario.
“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 facility is set to open in 2024.