USA—Ferrero North America has announced plans to invest US$214.4 million to expand its chocolate processing and product manufacturing plant in Bloomington, Illinois.

The new expansion will be one of the largest production lines built by Ferrero outside of Europe, a spokesperson said. Construction is projected to start by autumn 2022 and is anticipated to create up to 200 new jobs over a four-year period.

The confectionery company said the 169,000-square foot addition will be dedicated to producing Kinder Bueno, a popular Ferrero premium chocolate bar in Europe that launched in the US in 2019.

The announcement comes on the heels of a successful North American launch of the premium bars— a filling of hazelnut cream inside a crispy wafer.

According to the company, sales of Kinder Bueno have grown more than 51% during the past year, bringing the brands value in the North American Market to a whopping US$167 million.

The newly announced expansion will be the first time Kinder products are made in North America. Construction is slated to begin this fall, and the Kinder line will be operational in 2024.

“Being able to make Kinder Bueno right here in North America will help us build on our tremendous momentum and continue meeting consumer demand,” Catherine Bertrac, senior vice president of marketing for Kinder at Ferrero North America said in a statement.

The announcement comes months after Ferrero broke ground on a chocolate processing facility at the same location, Ferrero’s first-ever chocolate processing plant in the United States.

The US$75 million project, slated to open in spring 2023, is set to add 70,000 square feet to a legacy plant and create about 50 new jobs. The chocolate processing facility, will make chocolate for candies including Crunch, 100Grand and Raisinets.

Both of these expansions have been announced since Ferrero named Todd Siwak to the position of president and chief business officer of Ferrero North America.

Siwak, who had been the president and CEO of the confectioner’s Ferrera division, was tasked with transitioning Ferrero North America into operating geographically independent of the Europe-based company.

More domestic manufacturing capacity can help Ferrero become more fully grounded in the U.S., as well as cut back on costly imports.

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