UPDATE: First on the continent: ground broken on Kinder Bueno production facility in Bloomington

Published: Nov. 2, 2022 at 11:22 AM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

BLOOMINGTON (25 News Now) - Business is getting a lot sweeter in Bloomington.

Wednesday, state and local leaders visited the Ferrero production campus off of Beich Road to break ground on the new Kinder Bueno production facility, the first of its kind in North America. But the event was more than just a chance to mark the expansion of one of the Twin Cities’ newest big businesses. It was also an opportunity to discuss the state of industry overall in Illinois. To mark the occasion, high-profile politicians including Bloomington Mayor Mboka Mwilambwe and Normal Mayor Chris Koos were joined by Governor JB Pritzker and Senator Dick Durbin to put their shovels in the dirt.

The $214 million project was first announced in June. Projections say the work will create over 200 jobs, with 50 positions created from construction alone, adding to the already 1,400 expected for the site with the current facility’s plans.

“McLean County is thriving because of leaders like yourself willing to capitalize on the strongest asset we have, and that’s the quality of the workforce,” said Senator Durbin, addressing the collection of elected officials in front of him during the proceedings.

Politicians used the event to tout growing business in Illinois, with Governor Pritzker noting Illinois just surpassed a trillion-dollar economy. They also took time to focus on the capacity for reliable employment statewide, along with the unique offerings of the Central Illinois area.

“We appreciate the state and local councils and governments to really help us get to the point where we’re breaking ground and going to continue to grow together,” says Ferrero North American President and Chief Business Officer Alanna Cotton.

It’s the second high-profile corporation to settle into the Twin Cities in recent years (preceded by Rivian), and marks the only Kinder production facility outside of Europe.

“We’re so excited that not only can you enjoy that great food, but you can say proudly that it was made right here in Illinois,” says Director of the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Sylvia Garcia.

It also comes with some tax breaks. State funding and incentives from zoning have helped provide extra encouragement to build on the site. That includes construction in the location of an ‘enterprise zone,’ which means the company doesn’t have to pay local and state taxes on building materials. That’s all the more reason leaders are encouraged by the announcement, and the example it could set for future corporate residents.

“A wonderful family history, a quality product, and some of the best workers on earth is a sweet combination,” noted Durbin.

This isn’t the only way Ferrero is branching out in Illinois. The company is slated to open a new innovation center in Chicago next year that will host research and development labs, along with brand teams working on all things confectionary. The main facility in Bloomington is also slated to open next year, with the expansion scheduled to begin operation in 2024.