Ferrero North America, a division of the Ferrero Group, has opened a new innovation center and North America R&D labs in Chicago. The 45,000-square-foot facility is located in the Marshall Field and Co. building and brings together both Ferrero’s R&D teams from throughout the United States and employees who work on Ferrero brands such as Keebler, Famous Amos, Mother’s and Fannie May, totaling more than 150 employees.

“Our new innovation center and R&D labs here in Chicago reflect Ferrero’s rich heritage and will foster the creativity and culture that Ferrero is known for around the world,” said Alanna Cotton, president and chief business officer of Ferrero North America. “Investments like this help us create high-quality, innovative products that will become a special part of Americans’ lives and further drive category growth in confections, cookies, and beyond.”

According to Ferrero, the investment furthers the company’s footprint in Illinois. Ferrero already manufactures Butterfinger and Baby Ruth products at its Franklin, Ill., plant and makes Keebler products on 110th Street in Chicago. Ferrero also has a manufacturing campus in Bloomington, Ill., that manufactures products for other company brands, including Crunch and 100 Grand, and will include a new chocolate processing facility and Kinder Bueno production facility.

Ferrero’s new facility in Chicago is part of the company’s growth and investment in North America and Canada over the last few years, Ferrero noted. The company invested in new capacity and capabilities for its Brantford, Ont., plant earlier this year and has previously built distribution centers in Pennsylvania, Georgia and Arizona. According to Ferrero, the company’s presence in the United States, Canada and Caribbean now totals more than 5,000 employees across 8 offices as well as 12 plants and warehouses.