Ferrero Breaks Ground on $214M Central Illinois Plant

This project expands the Bloomington campus, allowing the Italian confectioner to produce its popular Kinder Bueno candy in North America.

Kinder Bueno facility. Image courtesy of The Ferrero Group

Ferrero North America, a division of Italy-based confectioner Ferrero Group, is expanding its footprint in the U.S. with the groundbreaking on a new manufacturing facility in Bloomington, Ill. Development of the 169,000-square-foot project will allow the company to produce its popular Kinder Bueno candy in North America for the first time.

The Kinder Bueno facility will take shape at Ferrero’s Bloomington campus at 2501 Beich Road. The property joined the candy manufacturer’s real estate portfolio in 2018, when the Italian parent company acquired Nestlé USA’s confectionary business in a $2.8 billion cash transaction. Ferrero has been in growth mode ever since, having introduced the Kinder Bueno product to the U.S. market in 2019.

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The new manufacturing facility will create 200 new jobs, bringing Ferrero’s total workforce in Bloomington to more than 550 employees. The company’s expansion is a welcome endeavor; the state of Illinois provided Ferrero with a tasty incentive in the form of an Economic Development for a Growing Economy tax credit.

Ferrero relied on Ghafari Associates for architectural and engineering design services pertaining to the bid documents for the Kinder Bueno project. With construction now underway, the confectioner is working with The Austin Co., which has taken on the role of design-build partner and will oversee engineering and construction responsibilities. Completion is slated for 2024.

Growth spurt

Ferrero’s new Kinder Bueno facility is just one of a few expansion projects the company has undertaken in Illinois over the last few years. Ferrero broke ground on a $75 million project at the Bloomington campus in 2021. The 70,000-square-foot expansion, which marks the company’s first chocolate processing facility outside of Europe, is scheduled to reach completion in 2023.

Beyond Central Illinois, in Chicago, Ferrero is planning to establish an Innovation Center at the Marshall Field & Co. building at 24 E. Washington St. The 45,000-square-foot facility, due to open in 2023, will feature R&D lab space and office accommodations.

Ferrero has been expanding across the U.S., but by growing its presence in the Land of Lincoln, the company is helping to further solidify Illinois’ status as a major hub for the U.S. food and confections industry. The state is home to a bevy of big names, most recently extending a welcome to Kellogg, which announced in June 2022 that it will relocate the corporate headquarters of its lucrative global snacking division from Battle Creek, Mich., to Chicago.

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