ROCKY MOUNTAIN, N.C. — Nutkao USA, a business unit of Nutkao s.r.l., Cuneo, Italy, plans to invest $7.3 million in a plant in North Carolina for the manufacture of hazelnut butter spreads, cocoa and cocoa/nut spreads, milk and dark chocolate spreads.

“The U.S.A. venture is a key step for Nutkao International development,” said Davide Braida, president of Nutkao U.S.A.

In Italy Nutkao manufactures spreads for the private label market, and also produces semi-finished ingredients for the confectionery segment.

In 2012, the company had annual sales of €100 million ($137 million). Nutkao has one plant in Italy and exported approximately 45% of its annual production in 2012.