The confectionery company known for producing Nutella and Kinder products has announced plans to invest up to $214.4 million to expand its factory in upstate Bloomington, an investment that, according to the company, will create 200 jobs in the region.
New Jersey-based Ferrero North America, part of global confectionery company Ferrero Group, said in a press release on Monday that the expansion will allow the company to produce Kinder products in North America for the first time.
The expansion comes on top of a $75 million investment in Bloomington the company announced in late 2020. The company launched the project – its first chocolate factory in North America – in 2021, and the facility is expected to be completed in the spring of 2023, according to spokesperson Kelsey McGeough. When the additional expansion is completed in 2024, it will add 169,000 square feet to the facility.
Ferrero will produce its Kinder Bueno bars and minis at the new factory. The company first launched the candy bars – wafers coated in chocolate and filled with a creamy hazelnut filling – in the United States in 2019, and the brand is now worth $167 million in the country after growing by more than 51% over the past year, the company said in a press release.
“We want to continue to support demand and capitalize on momentum,” said Todd Siwak, Ferrero’s president and chief commercial officer.
Siwak said producing Kinder Bueno products in Bloomington would increase the treats’ availability in North America and allow the company to research additional sizing and packaging options, such as a fun size bar.
He said the company did not anticipate any changes in Kinder Bueno pricing due to the national expansion, but said he anticipated it would eliminate any potential supply chain issues in production.
Currently, just under 400 people work at Ferrero’s facilities in Bloomington, McGeough said. Workers there manufacture the brands Ferrero’s Crunch, Rasinets and 100 Grand. When the two expansions are complete and staffed, the plant will employ more than 600 people, McGeough said.
The company receives an enterprise zone property tax abatement for expansion in addition to an Economic Development Tax Credit for a Growing Economy, or EDGE, from the state of l ‘Illinois, Siwak said. The EDGE credit stipulates an investment target of $103 million and the creation of 75 jobs over the next two years, according to a press release Monday from Governor JB Pritzker’s office.
Ferrero also secured a building materials sales tax exemption for the first part of its Bloomington expansion.
In a statement, Pritzker hailed the investment, calling it “a testament to Illinois’ talented workforce and reputation on the world stage.”
“We thank Ferrero for their vote of confidence in Illinois and for bringing more opportunity and jobs to the Bloomington-Normal area,” he said.
Ferrero was founded in Italy in 1946. In 2017 it acquired Ferrara Candy, the maker of Lemonheads, and chocolate maker Fannie May, both based in Chicago. In 2018 the company bought Nestlé’s American confectionery business, including the Butterfinger and Nerds brands, and in 2019 it acquired part of Kellogg’s North American snacks business, including Famous cookies. Amos. The company employs more than 1,350 full-time people in Illinois, according to the governor’s office.
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Post expires at 2:36pm on Saturday June 25th, 2022