PARSIPPANY, NJ. — Ferrero North America, a division of the Ferrero Group, has opened its first chocolate processing facility in North America and third globally. The 70,000-square-foot expansion to the company’s manufacturing campus in Bloomington, Ill., which broke ground in October 2021 and amounted to $75 million, produces chocolate for several well-known Ferrero brands, including Kinder, Ferrero Rocher, Butterfinger and Crunch.

Ferrero said the facility marks its latest effort to expand its footprint in Illinois. The company manufactures Butterfinger and Baby Ruth products at its plant in Franklin Park and produces Keebler products at its plant on 110th Street in Chicago. Ferrero also opened an innovation center and R&D labs in Chicago’s Marshall Field and Co. building last year. Prior to processing chocolate, the Ferrero manufacturing campus in Bloomington made products for Church, 100 Grand and Raisinets. The campus also will house a $214 million Kinder Bueno production facility that is expected to create 200 additional local jobs when it opens later this year.

“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 new facility is part of Ferrero’s overall growth and investment in North America. Outside of Illinois, the company invested in new capacity and capabilities for its Brantford, Ont., plant and in hazelnut growers based out of Oregon. Ferrero also operates distribution centers in Pennsylvania, Georgia and Arizona. The company said its North American presence now totals more than 5,100 employees across 8 offices and 12 plants and warehouses in the United States, Canada and the Caribbean.