Ferrero breaks ground at Bloomington Illinois site as its first US chocolate processing facility
A major investment in Ferrero’s US operations is fast taking shape as the company broke ground on a new $75 million chocolate processing facility in Bloomington, Illinois, becoming the first site of its kind for the business outside Europe, reports Neill Barston.
The firm has enjoyed a continued growth pattern in the US within recent years, expanding its regional presence with improvements to its New Jersey headquarters, additional product ranges and distribution capacity across the region.
Its latest American facility, which is set to open in Spring 2023, will become the company’s third chocolate processing site, with state and local leaders joined its teams at a ceremony to celebrate the occasion, including Acting Director of the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) Sylvia Garcia and Bloomington Mayor Mboka Mwilambwe. Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker delivered remarks via video.
The new facility is an expansion of Ferrero’s existing Bloomington manufacturing centreand will produce chocolate for Crunch, 100Grand, Raisinets, and other Ferrero products for the North American market. The $75M project will add 70,000 square feet to Ferrero’s current Beich Road footprint and add as many as 50 new jobs. Annually, Ferrero currently spends nearly $300 million in Illinois, supporting over 1,300 employees and 560 suppliers.
“The ability to process high quality chocolate here in North America is instrumental to building on our important growth in this market, which is advancing Ferrero towards our goal of being a world leader in global confectionery,” said Todd Siwak, President and Chief Business Officer of Ferrero North America. “I am so happy that we are able to reach this important milestone in Illinois, the heart of America’s food and confections industry.”
“With its first-ever U.S. chocolate processing facility, Ferrero will create new jobs and economic opportunity in the Bloomington region, and will carry forward Illinois’ proud food manufacturing tradition,” said Gov. Pritzker. “Companies like Ferrero continue to choose Illinois thanks to our talented workforce and our role as a transportation hub for the nation, which makes our state a number one choice for production, innovation, and global distribution. We thank Ferrero for its vote of confidence in Illinois and look forward to supporting the company’s continued success here.”
“Ferrero’s continued investment in Illinois is a testament to the caliber of our talent, the strength of our infrastructure, and our direct access to markets across the country and around the globe,” said Sylvia Garcia, Acting Director of the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO). “Under Governor Pritzker’s leadership, Illinois is committed to upholding our status as the leading Midwest destination for food production and supporting new and existing companies in their plans to innovate, fuel jobs, and produce their household brands from right here in Illinois.”
“We are so fortunate to have a global corporation like Ferrero breaking ground,” said Bloomington Mayor Mboka Mwilambwe. “Their confidence in Bloomington can only strengthen our already vibrant business community.”
The company’s facilities have been boosted in recent years with new distribution sites in Pennsylvania, Arizona and Georgia, and significant development of facilities in Franklin Park, Illinois as well as Bloomington. Its footprint in the market now totals eight offices and ten plants and warehouses in North America, including a cocoa processing plant in Brantford, Ontario.
Ghafari Associates provided architectural and engineering design services for the bid documents associated with the project. 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.