JONESTOWN, Pa. (WHTM) — The Midstate chocolate hub is growing after global confectionery company Ferrero chose Lebanon County for its new northeastern U.S. distribution center which opened Monday.
“Chocolate is the best food in the world. It’s internationally loved,” said Marta Gabriel, the regional manager for U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey. “Pennsylvania is known as the confectionery capital of the country. We have the most candy companies in the U.S.”
The proximity to Hershey’s Chocolate Factory as well as Lindt and Mars wasn’t the main reason Jonestown was chosen for Ferrero’s new 730,000 square-foot facility.
“Access to highways — we believe that Pennsylvania is a great place to do business. We’ve been excited about the economic growth in the area,” said Paul Chibe, the president and CEO of Ferrero North America.
The facility is located right off I-81 and I-78. Ferrero is looking to create 225 jobs. There will be 75 new positions this year and 150 more by the end of next year.
“We’re the third-largest chocolate company in the world, and we’re busy growing our portfolio in the U.S. We have Ferrero Rocher. We have Nutella, which most people are very familiar with given its addictive qualities. We have Tic Tac, which people know. And recently, we brought Kinder Joy, and now we’re launching Kinder Bueno,” Chibe said.
Kinder Bueno is a chocolate bar filled with hazelnut cream and a crispy wafer. The company says it is just now hitting store shelves.
The Jonestown facility will eventually distribute even more Ferrero brands down the road.