This is an evolving story that will be updated.
BLOOMINGTON – Italian chocolate maker Ferrero is planning another major expansion of his Bloomington operations, with an investment of approximately $ 214 million expected to create 200 new jobs in four years, officials said Monday.
The company, known for its Ferrero Rocher, Nutella, Tic Tac and Kinder Joy, said the addition of 169,000 square feet would be dedicated to producing Kinder Bueno, a popular chocolate bar in Europe that was launched in the United States in 2019. Leader Ferrero joined Governor JB Pritzker and other local government officials for the announcement.
“This site itself will be the only Kinder Bueno production facility in North America, one of the most popular and delicious candy bars in the world,” Pritzker said.
Construction is expected to begin in the fall, and the facility will open in 2024.
The production center will be one of Ferrero’s largest production lines built outside of Europe, officials said.
The production center will be added to the processing facility and will be built next to the 226,000-square-foot Ferrero Building, currently located at Bloomington’s Beich Road 2501, which produces 100Grand, Rasinets, Crunch and Buncha Crunch, using European processed chocolates.
The line will be the first time Kinder products will be made in North America, officials said.
“Ferrero intends to stay long-term, and that’s what’s happening in Bloomington,” Federico Forti, vice president of industrial operations, said in an interview. “The creation of these expansions and all the money the company is investing in this location is really proving that we are not here to leave. We are here to stay. ”
Fortik said the new production center will have everything needed to create Kinder Bueno, chocolate refining and mixing machines, wafer baking ovens, processing lines to combine the two, cooling tunnels and other machinery needed to package the product.
Available positions will include shift managers, production managers, maintenance managers, logistics operators, line operators and other jobs needed to maintain and direct facilities of this size, Fortik said.
The announcement is that after the company opens a $ 75 million chocolate processing facility in the same place and a month later, it will be converted into a 70,000-square-foot facility and is expected to bring in about 50 jobs. Installation will begin in 2023.
Ferrero will also have other incentives, including exemptions from the sales tax on building materials.
Ferrero has made investments in other parts of North America, including expanding its North American headquarters in New Jersey and establishing a new distribution center in Pennsylvania, Arizona and Georgia. Earlier this year, the company also announced the expansion of its plant in Brantford, Ontario.
Ferrero bought the Bloomington facility and others in Illinois in 2018 for Nestlé’s U.S. bakery business for $ 2.8 billion.
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