Ferrero North America Opens Chocolate Processing Facility In Illinois

The global sweet-packaged food company expanded its Bloomington manufacturing plant to add its first North American chocolate processing operation.

Ferrero North America, part of the global sweet-packaged food company the Ferrero Group known for Keebler®, Butterfinger®, Nutella®, Kinder®, Tic Tac®, and other well-loved brands, today celebrated the opening of its first chocolate processing facility in North America and third globally. Announced in November, 2020, the 70,000 square foot expansion to Ferrero’s manufacturing campus in Bloomington, Illinois produces chocolate for some of Ferrero’s iconic brands including Kinder, Ferrero Rocher, Butterfinger, and CRUNCH.

Left to right: Vice President of Industrial Operations Ferrero USA Federico Forti; Director of the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Kristin Richards; Bloomington Mayor Mboka Mwilambwe; President and Chief Business Officer Ferrero North America Alanna Cotton; Illinois Governor JB Pritzker; and Ferrero Global Industrial Head of Operations Serge Nal. (Photo: Ferrero North America)

“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,” said Alanna Cotton, President and Chief Business Officer of Ferrero North America. “Ferrero and Bloomington are going to be greater together for years to come.”

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. Last year the company opened its new Innovation Center and R&D Labs in Chicago’s historic Marshall Field and Company Building. 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.”

“Ferrero’s investments have been a key driver of the incredible growth of our community,” said Bloomington Mayor Mboka Mwilambwe. “I look forward to prospering together for years to come.”

The chocolate processing facility is part of Ferrero’s overall growth and investment in North America. In addition to new projects in Illinois, the company recently invested in new capacity and capabilities for its Brantford, Ontario plant and added distribution centers in Pennsylvania, Georgia, and Arizona, as well as invested in Oregon’s hazelnut growers. Ferrero’s North American presence now totals more than 5,100 employees across eight offices and twelve plants and warehouses in the U.S., Canada, and the Caribbean.

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