Ferrero’s Wells Enterprises ice cream business plans to expand its Dunkirk, New York manufacturing facility, which would add more than 200 new jobs and underscore the company’s long-term presence in the category.
The Dunkirk facility plays an important role in the company's expansion plans for national manufacturing of its Blue Bunny, Halo Top, Bomb Pop and Blue Ribbon Classics brands, Ferrero said. The expansion is anticipated to more than double the facility's current production output and help support the company's plans for growth in novelty and packaged ice cream.
"The planned expansion of the Dunkirk facility follows our team's continued strong performance over the last several months,” Mark Meyer, COO of Wells Enterprises, said in a statement. “That, coupled with the continued growth plan for our brands and the category overall makes expanding our Dunkirk facility the right choice for Wells."
Construction on the facility is expected to start in the fall. The establishment should be operational by late 2025.
Ferrero, known in the U.S. for its Nutella spread, golden-wrapped Ferrero Rochers and minty Tic Tacs, has rapidly expanded its presence in the U.S. in recent years through M&A.
Ferrero’s acquisition binge includes its $2.8 billion purchase of Nestlé’s U.S. chocolate business in 2018, a deal that added more than 20 American candy brands including Butterfinger, Baby Ruth, 100 Grand, SweeTarts and Nerds to the fold.
The sweets and snacks maker bought Kellogg’s cookies and fruit snacks business for $1.3 billion a year later, which gave Ferrero an entry into cookies with the Keebler and Famous Amos brands. Then last year, it entered ice cream with the purchase of Wells.
The expansion at the New York ice cream plant is the latest to be announced by the European company as it grows businesses it has recently acquired in the U.S. In 2022, Ferrero said it would add its first-ever U.S. chocolate processing plant to an existing building in Illinois that will make the ingredient for candies including Crunch, 100Grand and Raisinets.