It says the facility will give it more flexibility in packaging, allowing it to easily satisfy pack formats for different retail channels such as convenience stores and e-commerce.
It comes after Ferrero in February announced plans to upgrade its Villers-Ecalles plant in a $42m project due to be completed by 2021.
The 30,000 m² logistics center in Central France is around a six hour drive from the Villers-Ecalles factory in Northern France.
SPI Logistic – which has worked with Nestlé, Mondelēz International and Haribo – will manage the center.
The French logistics firm collaborated with the Ferrero France’s supply chain team for six months to design the facility.
The site includes an automated and semi-automated, temperature controlled co-packing department.
It will store Ferrero brands such as Tic-Tac, Kinder, Nutella, Ferrero Rocher and Mon Chéri on air-conditioned shelves at a temperature between 14°C and 18 °C.
Ferrero market share in France
Ferrero is present in six segments in France with the following market shares:
- Chocolate tablets: 11.3%
- Small pocket confectionery: 9.7%
- Pralines: 32.1%
- Spreads, jams and honeys: 33%
- Chocolate bars: 48.2%
- Industrial pastries: 5.1%
Flexibility in packaging
Ferrero France said the modernized site will increase its flexibility, allowing, for example, to fulfill a packaging request on Tic-Tac in two weeks instead of eight weeks at present.
"The opening of this new site is only the first step in a more ambitious plan for modernization for Ferrero France to make our supply chain more efficient and to support the growth of the next few years,” said Mohamed Zariouhi, supply chain director of Ferrero France [French translation].
Ferrero in France
Ferrero has been in the French market for 60 years and last year posted €1.24bn ($1.3bn) in revenues for its French business.
It has doubled its revenues in France since 2000 and today employs around 1,346 people in the country.
Its Villers-Ecalles factory was established in 1960 and is the group’s only production site in France. The site produces Nutella and Kinder Bueno, and exports 33% of its production to other EU countries.
Ferrero led the French chocolate confectionery market with a 23% value share in 2016, according to Euromonitor International.
The market research firm is forecasting a 1% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) in retail value sales for the market over the next five years.