Ferrero opens its first US chocolate production facility, at Bloomington, Illinois

A significant milestone has been marked by Ferrero North America, as it opens its first chocolate processing facility in the region, reports Neill Barston.

Notably, as Confectionery Production has previously covered, the Italian-founded business has expanded its presence consistently over the past few years, as it seeks to extend its Stateside market share.

The company, which has developed key brands including Keebler, Butterfinger, Nutella, Kinder and Tic Tac, is set to return to this year’s Sweets & Snacks Expo taking place in Indianapolis between 14-16 May at the Indiana Convention Centre. (watch our exclusive video preview of the event here).

Its 70,000 square foot expansion to its manufacturing campus in Bloomington, Illinois, produces chocolate for some of its biggest brands including Ferrero Rocher, Butterfinger and Crunch.
The site, which is now the company’s third global processing centre, is anticipated to make a strong contribution to its regional strategic development.

Alanna Cotton, President and Chief Business Officer of Ferrero North America, welcomed its development. She said: “Bringing Ferrero’s decades of experience making high-quality, world class chocolate to Illinois – the heart of America’s food and confections industry – is going to help us achieve our goal of being the sweets and treats leader in the market. Ferrero and Bloomington are going to be greater together for years to come.”

As the company noted, the major investment expands the company’s footprint in Illinois, with manufacturing Butterfinger and Baby Ruth products at its Franklin Park, and Keebler ranges on 110th Street, Chicago. The investment further expands Ferrero’s footprint in Illinois. The company manufactures Butterfinger and Baby Ruth products at its plant in Franklin Park, and Keebler products on 110th Street in Chicago.

Furthermore, last year, the firm opened its Innovation Centre and R&D Labs in the ‘windy city’s’ historic Marshall Field and Company Building.
In total, Ferrero’s North American presence now includes over 5,100 employees across eight offices and twelve plants and warehouses in the U.S., Canada, and the Caribbean.

Campus development
The Ferrero manufacturing campus in Bloomington manufactures CRUNCH, 100 Grand, and Raisinets in addition to now processing chocolate. The campus will also soon house a new $214 million Kinder Bueno production facility, expected to create 200 additional new local jobs when it opens later this year.

“The exceptional talent and infrastructure here in Central Illinois are helping drive the growth of Ferrero’s iconic brands, from CRUNCH and 100 Grand to Raisinets and soon Kinder Bueno,” said Illinois Governor JB Pritzker. “Ferrero’s Bloomington facility, now including the company’s first chocolate factory outside of Europe, is demonstrating to the world the manufacturing prowess we have right here in Illinois.”

As the business noted, in addition to its latest developments in Illinois, the company has recently invested in new capacity and capabilities for its Brantford, Ontario plant and added distribution sites in Pennsylvania, Georgia, and Arizona, as well as invested in Oregon’s hazelnut growers.


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