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Candy giant Ferrero to open innovation facility in Chicago’s Marshall Field building

TALIA SOGLIN Chicago Tribune

CHICAGO — Candy giant Ferrero will open a 45,000-square-foot innovation facility in the historic Marshall Field and Co. Building in the Loop next year, the company announced Thursday.

New Jersey-based Ferrero North America, which is part of the global confectionary company Ferrero Group, said in a news release that the new lab and offices on the building’s eighth and ninth floors will be completed in spring 2023.

Ferrero will transfer corporate employees from its Old Post Office location, though subsidiary Ferrara Candy Co. will maintain its headquarters at the Old Post Office, where it moved from Oakbrook Terrace in 2019. The Marshall Field office will be home to 170 employees, most of They already based in Chicago, according to vice president of corporate communications Cheryll Forsatz.

Research and development at the facility will be focused on new confectionery and sweet packaged foods products, according to Forsatz.

“Our goal for this space is to reflect Ferrero’s unique heritage and provide an opportunity to create greater synergies among our teams,” said Todd Siwak, president and chief business officer of Ferrero North America, in a statement.

The company said the move will take place in two phases, with employees moving into temporary office space in the Marshall Field building while construction is underway. Employees who work on cookies, cones and crusts brands including Keebler, Famous Amos, and Mother’s will move into the new facility, as will those who work on Fannie May, Forsatz said. Ferrara Candy Co. employees will remain in the company’s Old Post Office location.

The Marshall Field building was designated a Chicago landmark in 2005, the same year Federated Department Stores bought Field’s parent company and converted it into a Macy’s. In 2018, Macy’s sold the building’s upper floors to Brookfield Properties, an arm of Toronto-based Brookfield Asset Management. Brookfield redeveloped those floors into almost 650,000 square feet of office space, and just over a third of that space is now leased. Data and tech company Numerator and education tech firm Elevate K-12 have moved in. Office spaces for online ticket broker Vivid Seats and co-working firm Industrious are under construction.

Ferrero’s planned Marshall Field facility comes on top of another recent Illinois investment by the company.

Last month, the company announced plans for a $214.4 million expansion of its facility in downstate Bloomington, which it said would bring 200 jobs to the area. That expansion, which the company expects to be completed in 2024, comes after a $75 million investment into its first North American chocolate factory in Bloomington. The company broke ground on that project last year, and it is expected to be completed in spring 2023.

Siwak said Thursday he was proud of the company’s “growing footprint in Illinois.” The company employs 1,400 people in the state, said Forsatz.

“We are thrilled to join Ferrero as it announces that Chicago will be home to the company’s first innovation center in the United States,” Mayor Lori Lightfoot said in a statement Thursday. “Chicago is a global destination for innovation and Ferrero will be well-placed here, benefitting from the city’s connectivity to the world and its strong network of companies driven by tech and innovation.”

Lightfoot said she looked forward “to more companies realizing Chicago’s incredible potential.”

Last month, Kellogg Co. announced it would split into three companies, with its snacks business headquartered in Chicago. Ferrero acquired a portion of Kellogg’s North American snacks business in 2019.

But the city has also faced recent high-profile abdications. In June, Caterpillar announced it was moving its headquarters from Deerfield to Texas. And in May, Boeing announced plans to move its global headquarters from Chicago to Virginia.

Ferrero was founded in Italy in 1946. In addition to its portions of Kellogg’s snacks business, it has acquired within the last six years Lemonheads-maker Ferrara Candy and chocolatier Fannie May, both Chicago-based companies, as well as Nestle’s US candy business.

gov. JB Pritzker, local government officials and Ferrero company leaders gathered in Bloomington to celebrate the company’s planned $214 million expansion.

Popular cars that have risen the most in price

Popular Cars That Have Risen the Most in Price

Photo Credit: Jonathan Weiss/Shutterstock

The US economy is now more than a year into a run of soaring inflation. According to data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Consumer Price Index has experienced year-over-year inflation exceeding 5% every month dating back to May 2021, and year-over-year CPI growth topped 8% for three straight months this jump. Amid rising prices for nearly every consumer spending category, the US Federal Reserve has begun to sharply increase interest rates to cool the economy. And some economic experts believe that these efforts to combat inflation have the US headed for a recession.

One category that has been most dramatically affected by rising inflation is vehicles. While economists have debated the role of supply constraints and demand-side factors like aggressive government stimulus and high consumer spending in this inflationary period, the market for vehicles has been affected by both. COVID-related manufacturing shutdowns, labor shortages, and supply chain challenges have decreased the amount of new vehicles and increased competition for used cars. Simultaneously, consumers have been taking advantage of low interest rates, strong savings and investment returns earlier in the pandemic, and rising wages to finance major purchases including cars and trucks.

As a result, the CPI for new vehicles has risen by 16% since the beginning of 2020, while the CPI for used vehicles is up by more than 50% over the same span.


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Used car prices are starting to drop after a record shattering year

Used car prices are starting to drop after a record shattering year

However, there are some indications that inflation in the used vehicle market may have peaked. After reaching an all-time high in January 2022, used car prices fell for each of the next three months. While prices rose again slightly in May, the CPI for used vehicles remains below its peak from earlier this year. Auto industry experts have also recently reported an uptick in the number of vehicles available, believing the supply pressures that have driven prices up.

Low-cost vehicles are experiencing the greatest surge in prices

Low-cost vehicles are experiencing the greatest surge in prices

The increase in car prices has been particularly strong at the lower end of the market, and shoppers looking for good deals are finding fewer options available to them. For vehicles in the lowest quintile of car prices, the median car is currently priced 53.2% higher than forecasted pre-COVID. In contrast, the price premium in the highest quintile is 37.1%.

The differences in premiums across price points are also apparent across vehicle make and models. Models from relatively affordable car manufacturers like Nissan, Kia, and Dodge have price increases that exceed overall averages, in some cases outpacing pre-COVID forecasts by more than two-thirds.

The data used in this study is from Copilot’s Price Pulse tool. To determine the popular cars that have risen the most in price, researchers at CoPilot calculated the difference between the current market price and the original pre-COVID price forecast. Only the 100 most popular used vehicles with available data were included in the study. The data shown reflects pricing data for model year 2020 used vehicles that are currently for sale.

Here are the popular cars that have risen the most in price.

15. Kia Soul

15. Kia Soul

Photo Credit: Tikhomirov Sergey/Shutterstock

  • Current price premium (%): +51.6%
  • Current price premium ($): +$7,516
  • Current price: $22,080
  • Original price forecast: $14,564


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14. Kia Sportage

14. Kia Sportage

Photo Credit: Marko25 / Shutterstock

  • Current price premium (%): +52.4%
  • Current price premium ($): +$9,393
  • Current price: $27,326
  • Original price forecast: $17,933


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13. Ford Fusion

13. Ford Fusion

Photo Credit: Tony Savino/Shutterstock

  • Current price premium (%): +53.1%
  • Current price premium ($): +$8,805
  • Current price: $25,391
  • Original price forecast: $16,586


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12.Chevrolet Trax

12.Chevrolet Trax

Photo Credit: Jonathan Weiss/Shutterstock

  • Current price premium (%): +53.3%
  • Current price premium ($): +$8,103
  • Current price: $23,306
  • Original price forecast: $15,203


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11.Chevrolet Malibu

11.Chevrolet Malibu

Photo Credit: Jonathan Weiss/Shutterstock

  • Current price premium (%): +53.7%
  • Current price premium ($): +$8,356
  • Current price: $23,926
  • Original price forecast: $15,570


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10. Volkswagen Jetta

10. Volkswagen Jetta

Photo Credit: Darren Brode/Shutterstock

  • Current price premium (%): +54.0%
  • Current price premium ($): +$8,233
  • Current price: $23,482
  • Original price forecast: $15,249


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9. Buick Encore

9. Buick Encore

Photo Credit: dennizn/Shutterstock

  • Current price premium (%): +56.0%
  • Current price premium ($): +$8,753
  • Current price: $24,394
  • Original price forecast: $15,641


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8.Chevrolet Impala

8.Chevrolet Impala

Photo Credit: Joseph Creamer/Shutterstock

  • Current price premium (%): +56.3%
  • Current price premium ($): +$9,727
  • Current price: $26,990
  • Original price forecast: $17,263


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7. Nissan Sentra

7. Nissan Sentra

Photo Credit: Steve Lagreca/Shutterstock

  • Current price premium (%): +56.6%
  • Current price premium ($): +$8,461
  • Current price: $23,410
  • Original price forecast: $14,949


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6.Nissan Versa

6.Nissan Versa

Photo Credit: KeongDaGreat/Shutterstock

  • Current price premium (%): +56.6%
  • Current price premium ($): +$7,051
  • Current price: $19,501
  • Original price forecast: $12,450


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5. Kia Optima

5. Kia Optima

Photo Credit: Giftzwerg92 / Shutterstock

  • Current price premium (%): +57.3%
  • Current price premium ($): +$8,632
  • Current price: $23,700
  • Original price forecast: $15,068


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4. Kia Forte

4. Kia Forte

Photo Credit: Darren Brode/Shutterstock

  • Current price premium (%): +59.4%
  • Current price premium ($): +$8,037
  • Current price: $21,565
  • Original price forecast: $13,528


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3. Dodge Journey

3. Dodge Journey

Photo Credit: Iurii Vlasenko/Shutterstock

  • Current price premium (%): +63.1%
  • Current price premium ($): +$9,975
  • Current price: $25,774
  • Original price forecast: $15,799


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2. Dodge Grand Caravan

2. Dodge Grand Caravan

Photo Credit: Zeke Willard/Shutterstock

  • Current price premium (%): +67.9%
  • Current price premium ($): +$10,940
  • Current price: $27,062
  • Original price forecast: $16,122


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1.Nissan Altima

1.Nissan Altima

Photo Credit: betto rodrigues / Shutterstock

  • Current price premium (%): +68.2%
  • Current price premium ($): +$9,958
  • Current price: $24,553
  • Original price forecast: $14,595


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