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BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (AP) — Candy maker Ferrero North America plans to spend up to $214.4 million to expand its central Illinois facility, bringing with it 200 new jobs, the company said Monday.
New Jersey-based Ferrero North America, a part of the global confectionary giant Ferrero Group, said the expansion will allow it to produce Kinder products in North America for the first time.
Ferrero will produce its Kinder Bueno bars and minis — wafers coated in chocolate and filled with a creamy hazelnut filling — at the new facility, the Chicago Tribune reported.
Since it launched those candy bars in the U.S. in 2019, the company said the brand is now worth $167 million in the country after growing more than 51% over the past year.
The Bloomington plant’s expansion comes on top of a $75 million investment in the central Illinois city Ferrero announced in late 2020. That project — the company’s first chocolate factory in North America — is expected to be completed in spring 2023, said spokesperson Kelsey McGeough.
When the additional expansion is completed in 2024, it will add 169,000 square feet to the facility.
Currently, just under 400 people work at the Ferrero facility in Bloomington, making Ferrero’s Crunch, Rasinets and 100 Grand brands. When both expansions are completed and staffed, the plant will employ more than 600 people, McGeough said.