Largest US Cocoa Processor Closing 85-Year-Old Plant

The company said it will expand and transform other facilities.

Kristen Kazarian, Managing Editor

March 25, 2024

2 Min Read
Cocoa Processor Closing Plant
The company cites increasing repair and maintenance of the building and equipment as the reason for closure.Image courtesy of Diana Taliun / iStock / Getty Images Plus via Getty Images

Blommer Chocolate, the largest cocoa processor and ingredient chocolate supplier in North America, is closing their Chicago manufacturing plant after being in operation for more than 85 years.

The company announced in a press release the reason for the plant closure is the location and age of Blommer Chocolate’s Chicago manufacturing plant, and increasing repair and maintenance of the building and equipment, elevated operating costs and created production reliability issues. This led Blommer to the decision to close and invest in their other operations in Chicago, as well as Pennsylvania, California, and Ontario.

Fuji will invest further in R&D by expanding the lab capabilities in Chicago Merchandise Mart. The new R&D Center, to open in fall 2024, will support future development, concept testing, processing and ingredient research, continued application evaluation, and creation to enhance the customer experience, the company stated.

“It was an incredibly challenging yet inevitable decision to close the Chicago plant. However, in order to propel Blommer to the next level, we must embrace progress, transformation and elevation,” said Mark Okita, chief operating officer and senior vice president of Commercial. “Our planned expansion to the Campbellford Canada operation is the next step toward our transformation. This marks a new chapter for us as Blommer, as well as our customers. It is imperative that we challenge ourselves aggressively to ensure that this becomes the best chapter yet.”

Over the next several years, Blommer will invest $100 million USD in its three remaining production facilities. Blommer will expand its service to the specialty confectionery coating business by investing $60 million in the Campbellford (Ontario) facility to make it one of the largest confectionery coating manufacturing facilities in North America, with the additional capacity coming online in April 2026.

Opened in 1939, the Chicago manufacturing plant is the original manufacturing facility of the Blommer Group.

About the Author(s)

Kristen Kazarian

Managing Editor

Kristen Kazarian has been a writer and editor for more than three decades. She has worked at several consumer magazines and B2B publications in the fields of food and beverage, packaging, processing, women's interest, local news, health and nutrition, fashion and beauty, automotive, and computers.

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