Luxembourg-based chocolate manufacturer Ferrero Group has opened a new chocolate processing plant in the US city of Bloomington, Illinois.

The new $75m facility, spanning 70,000sqft (6,500sqm), is Ferrero’s first in North America and only its third worldwide. It is part of the company’s ongoing investment and expansion in the market.

The new processing facility has been established at the company’s existing manufacturing site in Bloomington. The same site is also set to house its new $214m Kinder Bueno production facility, currently under construction.

Alanna Cotton, president and chief business officer of Ferrero North America, said: “Bringing Ferrero’s decades of experience making high-quality, world-class chocolate to Illinois – the heart of America’s food and confections industry – is going to help us achieve our goal of being the sweets and treats leader in the market. Ferrero and Bloomington are going to be greater together for years to come.”

Illinois Governor JB Pritzker added: “The exceptional talent and infrastructure here in Central Illinois are helping drive the growth of its iconic brands, from Crunch and 100 Grand to Raisinets and soon Kinder Bueno. Ferrero’s Bloomington facility, now including the company’s first chocolate factory outside of Europe, is demonstrating to the world the manufacturing prowess we have right here in Illinois.”

Last year, Ferrero opened an Innovation Center and R&D Labs in Chicago.

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It recently also opened its new regional headquarters in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, intending to expand its footprint in the growing markets of the Gulf region.

Ferrero operates in around 170 countries with over 47,000 employees worldwide.