Ferrero North America, part of the Italy-based global confectionery company Ferrero Group, will build a new chocolate manufacturing center in Bloomington, Illinois.
The $75 million expansion, which will add 70,000 square feet to Ferrero's current 2501 Beich Road footprint, is projected to start construction by Spring 2021. It is anticipated to create approximately 50 local jobs. The facility will be Ferrero's first chocolate production plant in North America.
"As a family company, we are proud to have a long track record of investments in local manufacturing infrastructure over the last 70 years. We are therefore delighted to announce that construction will begin on Ferrero's first chocolate manufacturing center in North America, a key strategic market for us. This investment represents an important milestone as we continue to expand our offering of high-quality products for consumers across North America," said Giovanni Ferrero, Executive Chairman of the Ferrero Group.
"Illinois is so proud to welcome the first Ferrero chocolate manufacturing center outside of Europe," said Governor JB Pritzker. "This is an investment in the people and community of Bloomington, and my administration is proud to have Ferrero as a community partner in this enterprise zone, spurring new jobs and economic development."
Over the last 18 months, Ferrero has made significant investments in North America, including the expansion of its North American headquarters in New Jersey, opening of new distribution centers in Pennsylvania, Arizona and Georgia, and management of two facilities in Franklin Park, Illinois, as well as the plant in Bloomington.
"I am excited about our significant investment in our Bloomington facility," said Paul Chibe, President and CEO, Ferrero North America, "The investment in Bloomington will enable continued growth for Ferrero in North America and will create significant opportunities for the Bloomington community. We are excited to grow in Bloomington and look forward to offering strong employment opportunities to the people of Illinois."
An integral part of the Ferrero culture is supporting the communities where their offices and facilities are located. Ferrero recently worked with the State of Illinois to host a three-day mobile free COVID testing site at its Bloomington facility. In addition, during the pandemic, the company has made donations of PPE to local hospitals and product donations to nearby food banks.