Ferrero North America, a business unit of Ferrero Group, on October 13 broke ground on a new $75 million, 70,000-square-foot chocolate processing facility in Bloomington, Illinois. The plant will be Ferrero’s third facility that processes chocolate, and its first outside of Europe.

The new facility is an expansion of Ferrero’s existing Bloomington manufacturing center and will produce chocolate for Crunch, 100 Grand, Raisinets, and other Ferrero products for the North American market.

“The ability to process high-quality chocolate here in North America is instrumental to building on our important growth in this market, which is advancing Ferrero towards our goal of being a world leader in global confectionery,” says Todd Siwak, president and chief business officer of Ferrero North America. “I am so happy that we are able to reach this important milestone in Illinois, the heart of America’s food and confections industry.”

The expansion will create 50 new jobs at the facility.

“With its first-ever US chocolate processing facility, Ferrero will create new jobs and economic opportunity in the Bloomington region, and will carry forward Illinois’ proud food manufacturing tradition,” says Illinois Governor JB Pritzker. “Companies like Ferrero continue to choose Illinois thanks to our talented workforce and our role as a transportation hub for the nation, which makes our state a No. 1 choice for production, innovation, and global distribution. We thank Ferrero for its vote of confidence in Illinois and look forward to supporting the company’s continued success here.”

Ferrero has made several investments in North America over the past few years, including the expansion of its North American headquarters in New Jersey and the opening of new distribution centers in Pennsylvania, Arizona and Georgia. The company’s footprint in the market now totals 8 offices and 10 plants and warehouses in North America, including a cocoa processing plant in Brantford, Ontario.

The new facility is set to open in the spring of 2023.