FRANKFORT, Ky. — Perfetti Van Melle USA, part of Perfetti Van Melle Group B.V., one of the world’s largest candy manufacturers, will expand its presence in unincorporated Boone County with an investment of more than $9.8 million that will create a minimum of 16 new full-time production jobs.
“For decades, Perfetti Van Melle USA has called Kentucky home, and I am thrilled to see the company continue to grow in our state,” Gov. Andy Beshear said Thursday. “Not only will this project allow the company to increase production of candy enjoyed by people across the U.S. and Canada, the commitment to create at least 16 full-time jobs also ensures the company will continue to be a strong employer in Northern Kentucky for years to come.”
Perfetti Van Melle USA, which produces well-known brands such as Airheads, Mentos, Fruit-tella and Chupa Chups and operates two facilities near Erlanger, will add a new candy manufacturing line at its facility at 3645 Turfway Road in response to increased demand for its products. The investment also supports installation of an additional automated packaging area. Currently, Perfetti Van Melle USA employs about 460 people, mainly in Northern Kentucky. New job creation will include at least 16 production positions at a regionally competitive starting wage, with performance-based bonuses and opportunities to increase base pay through a skills-development program. Work on the project is expected to be completed by June 2022.
This expansion pushes the company’s investment in its Northern Kentucky operations since 2017 to more than $35 million to expand capacity and improve infrastructure and technology. In that time, the company also has more than doubled its local workforce.
“With our growth consistently outpacing the U.S. confectionery category for several years, this capacity expansion is critical for us to continue meeting the growing demand for our products,” said Sylvia Buxton, Perfetti Van Melle North America president and CEO. “After considering various locations within the Perfetti Van Melle global network, it was clear that expanding our manufacturing capacity here in Northern Kentucky was the right choice, given the potential incentives offered to attract more job-generating investment by business to the region. The region has great proximity to our customers, a strong and diverse workforce base, and a thriving business support network.”
Perfetti Van Melle USA is part of the privately owned, Amsterdam-based Perfetti Van Melle Group, which is one of the world’s largest manufacturers and marketers of confectionery and chewing gum, with renowned brands enjoyed in more than 150 countries.
Perfetti’s latest investment builds on Kentucky’s strong food, beverage and agritech sector, which includes more than 350 facilities and employs over 52,000 people. Since the start of 2020, new location and expansion projects within the industry are expected to create more than 2,500 full-time jobs with over $1.7 billion in new investments. The project also adds to the commonwealth’s nearly 5,000 manufacturing facilities statewide, which employ more than 250,000 Kentucky residents.
Boone County Judge/Executive Gary Moore congratulated Perfetti leaders on the company’s continued growth and success.
“Life in Northern Kentucky is indeed sweeter with Perfetti Van Melle here,” Judge/Executive Moore said. “Perfetti is an outstanding corporate citizen, deeply involved in the community and provides excellent benefits to its employees. We’re thrilled they are continuing to invest and create new jobs in Boone County.”
Lee Crume, president and CEO of Northern Kentucky Tri-ED, noted the company is part of a thriving food and beverage industry in the region.
“Through our business retention outreach program and initiative to build relationships with CEOs in Northern Kentucky, we have a strong rapport with Perfetti’s key leaders,” Crume said. “Perfetti is a key contributor to the food and beverage sector in the Cincinnati region and its growth and investment is a result of the key talent available here.”
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