BLOOMINGTON (WEEK) -- The North American arm of global confectionery company Ferrero Group has broken ground on the company's first chocolate processing facility outside of Europe and one of only three production facilities in the world -- in Bloomington.
A state release says the expansion of Ferrero's presence in Illinois will bring a $75 million investment in the region, up to 50 new jobs for the state and generate economic impact benefitting the entire state.
The new facility is an expansion of the company's existing Bloomington manufacturing center and will process chocolate for Crunch, 100Grand, Raisinets and other products for the North American market.
“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.”
70,000 square feet will be added to Ferrero's current Bloomington footprint and build on the significant economic impact generated annually by the company. The release says the company outputs over $300 million in Illinois alone and employs over 300 full-time workers, making it one of the largest employers in McLean County.
“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.”
The ability to process 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.”
“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.”